The Los Angeles Dodgers roster has undergone significant turnover this offseason, with Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner headlining the noteworthy departures.
Bellinger was due to go through salary arbitration for the fourth and final time of his career, but the Dodgers non-tendered the 2019 National League MVP to make him a free agent. L.A. had interest in re-signing Bellinger, but he wound up joining the Chicago Cubs.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman identified Turner as one of the top priorities for the Dodgers, but it’s unclear how earnest of an effort they made to retain him.
With Bellinger and Turner off to new organizations, Manny Mota recognized the two for their time with the Dodgers by posting photos on Instagram.
Mota wrote as the caption, “For the last #throwbackthursday of the year I want to remember our boys Cody and Justin. Belli and Rojo were two of the best Dodgers and carried the team when we needed. Thanks for the memories and good luck in your new destination. We are going to miss you, guys.”
His heartfelt message for Bellinger and Turner was additionally shared in Spanish.
Bellinger had been with the Dodgers since getting selected in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Bellinger made his debut in 2017 and became a fixture in the Dodgers lineup from that point on.
In addition to the MVP Award, he won Rookie of the Year, a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove. Bellinger’s production declined after his MVP season, in some part due to a multitude of injuries.
Turner was among the longest-tenured Dodgers at nine years with the organization. He signed a Minor League contract in 2014 and went on to become a clubhouse leader, pillar in the community, two-time All-Star and holder of multiple Dodgers postseason records.
Justin Turner wanted to retire with Dodgers
As a Southern California native, Turner expressed a desire to finish his career with the Dodgers. His free agency process didn’t gain much steam until December, and the Boston Red Sox became seriously involved once the Dodgers reached an agreement to sign J.D. Martinez.
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