Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Hopeful ‘Invaluable’ Justin Turner Will Re-Sign
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t at a crossroads this offseason but they do find themselves in a precarious position with Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner on the free-agent market. Los Angeles extended qualifying offers to the duo, which both predictably rejected.

Although a team other than the Dodgers signing Jansen or Turner would lose their top unprotected pick in the 2017 Draft, that shouldn’t have much bearing on their list of suitors. Jansen is one of three marquee closers available, while Turner is the best third baseman available.

The Dodgers have openly stated re-signing Jansen and Turner is among their top priorities this winter. But president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently said he was mindful of allowing each player to explore free agency.

It’s the first time in Jansen’s career he’s going through the process, and second for Turner. Though, the first came when he was non-tendered by the New York Mets after the 2013 season, and had yet to establish himself as an everyday player.

Turner’s emergence into a premier talent wasn’t lost on Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who raved about the third baseman during an appearance on Dodger Talk on AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio:

“He’s huge. I admired J.T. as a player from the other side, but to have him in the same clubhouse, he was invaluable to me. To do the things not only on the field but controlling the clubhouse and having some conversations with players that I wanted him to have. When you get a player that posts every night and says the right things, it’s huge for me. … He knows how valuable he is to this club, and he knows how much we want him. I know he, his agent are going to go through the (free agency) process but hopefully at the end of the day he’ll be back in a Dodgers uniform.”

Along with the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and San Francisco Giants have been reported as having interest in Turner. The Giants, in need of a closer, are also believed to have Jansen on their wish list.

Turner overcame a slow start this season and finished the year batting .275/.339/.493 with 34 doubles, 27 home runs, 90 RBIs and a 124 OPS+ over 151 games. He was stellar defensively, and named a Gold Glove finalist for the first time.

Turner set a Dodgers postseason record with a base hit in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, which extended his streak to 15 consecutive postseason games reaching safely.

In 386 games with the Dodgers over the past three seasons, Turner hit .296/.364/.492 with 81 doubles, 50 home runs, 193 RBI and a 136 OPS+.

General manager Farhan Zaidi said the club would likely look to address third base via trade if Turner did not re-sign. One reported option was Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox, though the Dodgers are said to prefer Turner to Frazier.