ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin hears from a source that the Mets could shop utility infielder Justin Turner during spring training. A deal is far from a certainty, as the 28-year-old has an option remaining, but he could become expendable if the Mets prefer to carry Brandon Hicks and Omar Quintanilla and need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Turner is a .254/.324/.354 hitter over parts of four seasons in the majors. He made starts at all four infield positions last season and is expected to get some reps in the outfield this spring.
Turner is still making the major league minimum, so he could be a useful bench piece somewhere, but it’s unlikely the Mets would be able to get much in return.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.