Former Mets utilityman and current Dodgers star Justin Turner cited philosophical differences as a reason why he and the Mets' front office did not always get along. Turner, who played for the Mets from 2010-2013, says that his approach at the plate clashed with the organizational philosophy promoted by General Manager Sandy Alderson.
"[Alderson] is a 'Moneyball' guy," Turner said to ESPN Los Angeles. "I don't know if 'Looking to walk' is the right way of saying it, but he talks about on-base percentage. I'm never looking to walk. Sometimes when you miss pitches you should hit, you end up walking. I wasn't worried about on-base percentage or anything like that. I was just trying to have good at-bats."
The 30-year-old third baseman was non-tendered by the Mets in December 2013 after the team's front office reportedly felt that Turner had not hustled during his tenure with the team. Later that offseason, the Dodgers inked Turner to a minor league deal, and he has thrived ever since. He is batting .312/.386/.558 this season with 11 home runs and 37 RBI in 72 games and has become the team's everyday third baseman and number three hitter.
In 301 games with the Mets, Turner batted .265/.326/.370 with eight home runs and 86 RBI. He started at least one game at every infield position and even saw some action in the outfield. Given the Mets' recent offensive and defensive struggles at just about every position, non-tendering Turner appears to be a mistake in hindsight even given his level of production at the time. When you account for his apparent offensive transformation since then, the decision stings even more so.