Less than 12 hours removed from winning their first World Series since 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers saw eight players become free agents: Pedro Baez, Kiké Hernandez, Jake McGee, Joc Pederson, Jimmy Nelson, Justin Turner, Blake Treinen and Alex Wood.
The group of free agents was joined by an eighth member two days later when the Dodgers declined their club option on Jimmy Nelson for 2021 and instead paid a buyout worth a reported $500,000. After a moratorium where players could only negotiate with their own club, free agency began in earnest at the start of November.
There’s yet to be much activity, though plenty of speculation involving the futures of Nolan Arenado and Francisco Lindor has come about. It’s widely believed the Cleveland Indians will trade their All-Star shortstop after contemplating doing such in previous offseasons.
The Dodgers have not been mentioned as a serious suitor for Arenado or Lindor, and according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, are much more likely to re-sign Turner, via the “Big Time Baseball” podcast:
“I do think L.A. is more likely to bring Turner back than go for another big piece. They’d like to keep Seager long term and I think they’d like to keep Bellinger. Can they have four superstars on the team? I’m not so sure.”
Although the Dodgers reportedly discussed a Lindor trade with the Indians last winter, aligning on a deal now would appear to be remote. That applies to Arenado as well due to the Colorado Rockies presumably being against trading within the National League West.
From a financial standpoint, the Dodgers are looking at 12 more years on a contract with Mookie Betts, and Corey Seager is entering a final season under salary arbitration, and Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler aren’t far behind.
For Turner, he’s a free agent a second time since joining the Dodgers organization on a Minor League contract in 2014. He re-signed with the team two years later, agreeing to a four-year contract.
Turner is the Dodgers’ all-time postseason leader in games (72), hits (79), home runs (12), doubles (19), RBI (41) and total bases (136). His importance to the organization has also extended into the community, where Turner and his wife Kourtney have continued to provide for those in need.
Teammates defend Turner
In what could be Turner’s final game with the Dodgers, he was the subject of controversy upon returning to the field during the World Series celebration after being placed in isolation due to a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result.
MLB launched an investigation that concluded without any punishment being levied, and Turner explained his understanding that coming out of the room had been approved.
As the league initially painted Turner in a rebellious light, Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Corey Seager and Blake Treinen were among those to come to his defense.
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