Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rockies Get A Second Sacker; It's NOT Justin Turner!

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Colorado Rockies were looking at Mets' utility infielder Justin Turner as a trade option to compete for their open second base position.  Turner would have competed with a number of in-house candidates for the opportunity to be Troy Tulowitzki's double play partner.  However, that deal appears to be deader than Fausto Carmona's career.

According to a tweet by Jim Bowden, the Rockies have acquired middle infielder Marco Scutaro from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for journeyman pitcher Clayton Mortensen.

Scutaro will take over at second base for the Rockies, while the Red Sox will use Mortensen as a starter.  However, with Scutaro's $6 million salary now off the Red Sox's books, Boston might use that money to pursue a more attractive starting pitcher (Roy Oswalt?), as Mortensen has never been very impressive in the major leagues (4-8, 5.12 ERA in 95 IP).

Long-time Mets fans might remember Scutaro for being a part of the 2002 and 2003 teams.  If they don't, it's because they were too busy cursing out Steve Phillips for his not-so-brilliant acquisitions of Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff D'Amico and Shawn Estes.

Scutaro is entering his 11th major league campaign and will be playing in the thin air of Denver.  The air around Justin Turner, however, is thick with sighs of relief, as he would most likely not have received much playing time in Colorado had he been traded there.  Instead, he appears to be staying on the Mets, competing for the second base job and spelling David Wright at third whenever he needs a day off or steps on Ike Davis again.

Justin Turner had a fine rookie season for the Mets last year.  In 117 games, he banged out 30 doubles and drove in 51 runs.  He also was one of the toughest players to strike out on the team, fanning only 59 times in 487 plate appearances.  His ability to play anywhere in the infield and his penchant for making contact will make him a valuable asset on the 2012 Mets, especially since the team still hasn't figured out how not to continue racking up injuries.

Good luck to the Rockies and their new 36-year-old second baseman.  We'll be just fine in New York with our 27-year-old redhead.

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