The New York Mets are expected to have to make a lot of personnel decisions in this offseason. With only David Wright and Jon Niese under contract for next season, the Mets will have to make a lot of decisions on arbitration eligible players and prospects. Some of those decisions will be easier than others, and it appears the Mets' brass has made a decision on a fan favorite. The Mets are expected to tender a new contract to backup infielder Justin Turner, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports.
Turner, 28, hit .280 with two home runs and 16 RBI's coming off the bench for the Mets last season. Turner has been a staple on Terry Collins' bench since he was called up in the 2011 season, and he has managed to become a fan favorite for his hustle and signature red hair. Turner has primarily been a backup middle infielder for the Mets, seeing time at shortstop and second base over the last several seasons. Turner also played some third base this year in place of the injured David Wright and saw time at first base and left field as well.
Turner figures to command about a million dollars in his first time as an arbitration eligible player, but Martino's report indicates the Mets believe it is money well spent. Turner has shown an ability to be a strong pinch hitter, which is hard to find in most major league players. Turner is also extremely versatile defensively, allowing the Mets to use him to spell a lot of different players if they need a day off. Turner is also a very popular figure in the clubhouse, and Mets GM Sandy Alderson has shown that he values high character guys in his locker room. Martino's report also indicates that Turner is always engaged in the game and has talked strategy with Collins on the bench, a sign of his professionalism even when he isn't in the lineup. Although nothing is guaranteed at this point, it appears that Turner will be back in the fold for the Mets next spring.
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