Heading into last offseason, most anticipated the Los Angeles Dodgers would prioritize re-signing Justin Turner and Blake Treinen, and play a bit of a waiting game with fellow free agents Kiké Hernandez and Pedro Baez, among others.
It quickly became clear Hernandez and Joc Pederson sought everyday roles that were likely to come with a different team. Meanwhile, there was little that came to light regarding Turner and the Dodgers for several weeks.
Reports began linking him to the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays during a slow-moving free agency process. Not long before Turner would end up re-signing with the Dodgers, the Brewers were reported as having presented him with a competitive contract offer.
During an appearance on “The Chris Rose Rotation” podcast, Turner shared some details from free agency, specifically highlighting how serious talks got with the Blue Jays, and Christian Yelich being among those to make pitches for the Brewers:
“From the get-go, about a week out of the season ending, I was in contact with the Blue Jays. Had a lot of conversations with the Blue Jays. And there was a point where I thought I was going to receive an offer from the Blue Jays before I’d even gotten a phone call from the Dodgers. So that had me a little nervous, actually. You know, like, what do I do if I have a great offer from a team and I haven’t even heard from the Dodgers yet? Like, what happens then?
“But they ended up signing Marcus Semien to the one-year deal and I got a text saying they have this deal in place they were going to obviously not pursue me anymore. That’s when things kind of evolved with the Dodgers and Brewers. It was competitive from the Brewers. They really wanted me, they they dug deep.
“I had multiple calls and zoom calls. You know, I got calls from Mark Kotsay, I got calls from Trevor Hoffman, I got calls, from (Christian) Yelich and (Craig) Counsell, and I talked to (David) Stearns multiple times. And I talked to and (Mark) Attanasio, their owner. I mean, the pursuit was real, the offer was real, the interest was real. At the end of the day, it just came down to you know, I think I’m where I’m supposed to be and that’s that’s back with the Dodgers.”
Turner ultimately re-signed with the Dodgers on a two-year, $34 million contract that includes a team option for 2023. His return was met by plenty of fanfare, not only on social media, but several teammates as well.
Turner has become a leader in the clubhouse and beloved member of the community through his work alongside wife Kourtney and their Justin Turner Foundation.
Turner credits Dodgers fans
After officially re-signing, Turner mentioned on the “Holding Kourt” podcast that Dodgers fans were a key reason for remaining with the team, and he reiterated that when speaking with media during Spring Training.
“The fans all offseason have been reaching out through social media, encouraging me to come back, expressing their desire for me to come back,” Turner said at the time. “The support has been unbelievably overwhelming.
“My wife and I take our dogs on walks through the neighborhood every night and there were people on the streets yelling, ‘You’ve got to sign back. You’ve got to come back.’ So when we announced it Saturday, the overwhelming response from the best fans in all of baseball was par for the course and that’s why I love them so much.
“I try to give back as much as I can to them. Like I said, they are the best fans in baseball. I think I’ve said it my whole career here, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, when you walk around — especially in Los Angeles — Dodger Blue is everywhere.”
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