With the start of Spring Training on the horizon, the Los Angeles Dodgers capped off a successful offseason as Justin Turner announced he agreed to re-sign with the team.
While the deal is pending a physical and a corresponding move on the 40-man roster move will be needed, Turner is reportedly heading back to the Dodgers on a two-year contract worth $34 million with a club option for 2023.
Although it took longer than expected, Turner was always predicted to remain with the Dodgers. The franchise stalwart has been the team’s leading voice in the clubhouse during this recent run of success and was a big part of the roster that finally broke through and won the World Series.
Turner did have some other suitors, however, with the Milwaukee Brewers making a serious run at signing the 36-year-old. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Brewers’ offer was nearly the same as the Dodgers’ and they also presented a guaranteed three-year deal:
Brewers offered about the same $34M over 2 years for Justin Turner, and also made a 3-year bid with a somewhat lower annual salary. Also, Wisconsin tax is lower than California tax. So overall, good try.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 14, 2021
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman made it clear at the beginning of the offseason that a right-handed bat was among their top priorities. Indications were re-signing Turner was how they hoped to fill that.
Even after the team signed reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer to a record-breaking contract, Friedman said that wouldn’t deter them from possibly re-signing Turner.
While the Brewers made a real run at signing him, ultimately Friedman was able to get it done and Turner will be back in L.A. for at least two more seasons to defend the title.
Roberts confident in Rios, but not as Turner replacement
If the Dodgers were not able to sign Turner, Edwin Rios would have been their top option at third base going into 2021. While manager Dave Roberts expressed confidence in Rios as an emerging young player, he did not see him as an adequate replacement for Turner.
Now that Turner is back, there is no doubt that Roberts is as happy as anyone to retain his third baseman, No. 3 hitter and clubhouse leader.
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