Farhan Zaidi: Dodgers Will Look Internally Or Pursue Trades If Replacing Justin Turner Becomes Necessary
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers had nine players become free agents the morning after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, the spotlight has been on Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. Each is near, if not at the top, of the list of available players at their respective position.

Turner shook off a slow start that was a byproduct of undergoing microfracture knee surgery last offseason, and hit .275/.339/.493 with 34 doubles, 27 home runs, 90 RBI and a 124 OPS+ over a career-high 151 games.

He led the Dodgers in RBI and finished tied with Yasmani Grandal for the team lead in home runs. Turner also played a stellar third base that placed him among the finalists for a Gold Glove.

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado became the first third baseman in MLB history to win four consecutive Gold Gloves to begin his career.

Although Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi identified Turner as one of the club’s top priorities this winter, the club has yet to dole out a contract worth more than the $48 million Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir received under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

With the reality of there not being a viable option on the open market to turn to in the event Turner signs with another team, Zaidi conceded the Dodgers would likely need to consider internal options or pursue a third baseman in a trade, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

“That’s probably a spot where there aren’t a ton of free-agent options,” said Zaidi. “You either look internally or the trade route if it gets to that point.”

The Dodgers extended the one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to Turner. He’s expected to reject it, and has until 2 p.m. PT on Monday, Nov. 14, to formally do so.

Should the soon-to-be-32-year-old then sign with another team, the Dodgers would receive a compensation pick in the 2017 Draft. The San Francisco Giants reportedly are open to pursuing Turner in free agency.

After making the Dodgers roster on a Minor League contract that included an invitation to Spring Training in 2014, Turner hit .296/.364/.492 with 81 doubles, 50 home runs, 193 RBI and a 136 OPS+ over the past three seasons. This year marked his first as the Dodgers everyday third baseman.

One option via trade may be Evan Longoria, as the Tampa Bay Rays reportedly are willing to listen on offers. The Dodgers and Rays held trade talks prior to the non-waiver deadline.

One internal option to potentially replace Turner presumably is Kiké Hernandez, though Hernandez has spent the bulk of his time in the outfield. Howie Kendrick could have been part of the picture but he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.