As the calendar inches closer to December and the start of the Winter Meetings, the Hot Stove figures to heat up in the not-too-distant future. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, they have already been linked to some of the biggest names on the market.
The club reportedly has interest in trading for Colorado Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado, although the prospect of that happening will likely depend on how the rest of the offseason plays out.
A trade for Arenado would only make sense if Justin Turner departs in free agency. He has garnered plenty of interest thus far, but there is presumed interest from both sides to work out a new contract.
Along with Arenado, the Dodgers have lined up other alternatives should Turner sign elsewhere. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, L.A. could emerge as a suitor for New York Yankees free-agent DJ LeMahieu, but their preference is to re-sign Turner:
The Dodgers almost certainly would have no spot for LeMahieu if they re-sign Turner, which still appears to be their first choice.
LeMahieu, 32, is coming off the most productive season of his career in which he led the American League in batting average (.364), on-base percentage (.421) and on-base plus slugging (1.011) en route to a third-place finish in MVP voting.
LeMahieu has been one of baseball’s best hitters since signing with the Yankees prior to the 2019 season. For as good as he is at the plate, he also provides above-average defense at three different positions in the infield.
Also making LeMahieu an attractive option for the Dodgers is the fact that he has previous experience in the National League West.
He played for the Colorado Rockies from 2012-18, winning the NL batting title in 2016, and earned three Gold Glove Awards and two All-Star selections during the stretch.
Blue Jays among teams interested in signing Turner
As for who may be the biggest threat to sign Turner away from the Dodgers this offseason, many believe that team is the Toronto Blue Jays. Coming off a third-place finish in the AL East, the club is expected to be a major player in free agency.
With one of the youngest rosters in baseball, the Blue Jays are looking to sign productive veterans to help propel them back to the postseason. Turner would more than fit that bill, but the Dodgers value him for the same reason, and it remains to be seen if he wants to leave L.A. at this stage in his career.
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