After playing his way to becoming an All-Star over the course of nine seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Justin Turner agreed to sign a two-year contract with the Boston Red Sox that is believed to be worth an estimated $22 million and include a player option for 2024.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman deemed Turner one of the club’s priorities after declining his $16 million option, but it’s unclear how aggressive they were in retaining the 38-year-old. The likelihood was effectively diminished once the Dodgers agreed to terms with J.D. Martinez.
Turner’s market reportedly grew to include interest from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins. The Boston Red Sox were a late entrant — at least in terms of public knowledge.
According David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio, manager Alex Cora and Red Sox players recruited Turner during free agency:
#RedSox players and Manager Alex Cora have been actively recruiting Justin Turner the last two weeks.
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) December 18, 2022
While the Red Sox players who were active in recruiting Turner haven’t been publicly named, it’s safe to assume one was former Dodgers teammate Kiké Hernández. They developed a close friendship in Los Angeles and Hernández had jovial tweets after reports of Turner’s signing surfaced.
It also stands to reason that Kenley Jansen likely got involved in trying to convince Turner to accompany him in Boston. Turner and Jansen famously had a heartfelt conversation when both re-signed as free agents after the 2016 season.
Turner batted .296/.375/.490 with 235 doubles, 156 home runs and 574 RBI over 1,075 games during his career with the Dodgers. He holds several Dodgers postseason records and is the all-time franchise leader in hit-by-pitches.
Justin Turner among former Dodgers on Red Sox roster
In signing with the Red Sox, Turner reunites with Hernández, Jansen, Chris Martin and Alex Verdugo, whom he played with at some point on the Dodgers.
While Hernández and Verdugo are holdovers, Martin was first to sign with the Red Sox this offseason, followed by Jansen and now Turner.
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