Mets reportedly could be surprise entrant in Trea Turner sweepstakes

By , Audacy Sports

A Wild Card-round playoff exit following a 101-win regular season may have emboldened New York Mets owner Steve Cohen to be even more aggressive this offseason.

One day after signing closer Edwin Díaz to a five-year/$102 million deal, it sounds as though the Mets could be players for perhaps the most coveted free agent outside of Aaron Judge.

Michael Mayer of Metsmerized Online hears that the Mets may be in on Trea Turner when free agency opens:

The elephant in the room, of course, is that the Mets have Francisco Lindor signed through the 2031 season. While defensive runs saved weren't as bullish as usual on Lindor's work in the field this past season, he has 34 outs above average in two seasons with the Mets. He's not moving to another position.

But for as much as teams love Turner offensively -- he's slashed .316/.364/.514 with an .877 OPS since 2020 -- he's typically graded out as an average shortstop. It's possible that the Mets are envisioning a double-play combination of Lindor and Turner, with the latter shifting to second base on a full-time basis.

While that makes quite a bit of sense in theory, there's no indication that Turner is interested in moving off of shortstop right now. He did play there in 2021 after being traded from the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers, because Corey Seager was still in the fold for his new team. But once Seager departed in free agency for the Texas Rangers, Turner moved back to his natural position.

It's also possible that Cohen, general manager Billy Eppler and manager Buck Showalter think Turner could handle center field on a full or part-time basis if the Mets lose Brandon Nimmo in free agency. They have Starling Marte, but he turned 34 last month.

Again, though, if Turner has a bunch of lucrative offers to play shortstop, would he be interested in one that would involve him playing in the outfield? He did spend 387 2/3 innings in center field for the Nationals in 2016, posting -2 defensive runs saved and two outs above average. He was 23 then, though, and will turn 30 next June.

Despite all the questions, there's no doubt Turner would be a massive addition to a lineup that already includes Lindor, Marte, Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil.

And if Turner was playing for the Mets, it would mean he was no longer with the Dodgers, one of the biggest obstacles in the way of New York making a World Series run. There's also been speculation that the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals could be players for Turner, and the Mets would certainly prefer for Turner not to land in either one of those spots.

The Mets landing Turner feels like a long shot, but it's an interesting wrinkle to the conversation about where one of the game's top offensive players will land this winter.

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