Mets rumors: Justin Turner to be dealt?

Mike Stobe

New York may not have room on their roster for the utility infielder by the time camp ends.

One consequence of all the minor-league deals that New York Mets handed out this winter is that the club will potentially have a proverbial logjam on their 40-man roster by the time Spring Training wraps up at the end of March.

There are several roster-crunch scenarios that could play out in the bullpen, outfield, and infield, but most of them seem to preclude utility infielder Justin Turner from having a spot with the club come Opening Day. While the club is not actively shopping Turner, they will likely listen to offers as April nears, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN:

Justin Turner may not be as firm a lock for the Mets’ Opening Day roster as it would seem.

A source acquainted with the Mets’ plans told that Turner might be dealt late in spring training, although forecasting that is premature given a Grapefruit League pitch has not been thrown.

As it stands, the Mets' 40-man roster is currently full. But with Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison, LaTroy Hawkins, Marlon Byrd, and Andrew Brown -- among others -- all coming into camp as non-roster invitees, it's possible that the Mets will have to clear as many as four roster spots by April.

Reese Havens will probably be the first to get booted from the roster, per Rubin, but where the club will go from there is anyone's guess at this point.

Turner still has an option remaining, so he could very well begin the year at Triple-A Las Vegas, but because of his MLB service time the last two seasons the club would have to pay him at least $295k to do so. Hence the likelihood of a trade.

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With a week to go until spring games actually begin, there's still a good chance that the 28-year-old Turner -- who has hit .262/.330/.366 with six home runs in 672 plate appearances for the Mets the last two years -- finds his way onto the active roster for Opening Day.

If the Mets do end up dealing Turner away at the end of spring, however, Rubin speculates that Omar Quintanilla, Brandon Hicks, and Zach Lutz are the most likely candidates to take over his role.


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