Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Wanting To Play Third Base For Blue Jays Could Affect Justin Turner

The Los Angeles Dodgers saw seven players reach free agency the morning after the World Series concluded, led by Justin Turner, who has been an important part of the organization both on and off the field since signing a Minor League contract in 2014.

Turner, 36, is coming off another solid season in which he hit .307/.400/.460 with 14 extra-base hits and 23 RBI over 175 plate appearances (42 games). While the Dodgers hope to bring Turner back, it hasn’t stopped other teams from pursuing him.

Specifically the Toronto Blue Jays, who want to add a veteran to their young, up-and-coming team that earned a playoff berth this year. The Blue Jays have an opening at third base after non-tendering Travis Shaw, who appeared in 37 games at the position this past season.

Turner would be a natural replacement, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reportedly wants to take over the hot corner next year, via Nick Ashbourne of The Athletic:

More than just dropping a substantial amount of weight, the 21-year-old has expressed an interest in playing third base for the Blue Jays—a position that is currently vacant after the club non-tendered Travis Shaw. It’s not just an idle aspiration either as Vladdy intends to back it up by playing third base in winter ball with the Dominican club Escogido.

Guerrero mostly played third base in the Minors and as a rookie, but the Blue Jays moved him across the diamond this past season after he reported to Spring Training overweight.

With reports that Guerrero looks more fit in winter ball, he could potentially fill the void at third base moving forward. This would seemingly make Turner less of a need for the Blue Jays, although they could still justify signing him if the plan is to make him their designated hitter.

That’s one advantage American League teams may again have over National League teams in 2021, but despite clubs being informed to not plan on a universal DH, there’s growing belief it will return.

Re-signing Turner reportedly remains ‘first choice’ for Dodgers

The Dodgers have been linked to the likes of Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu this offseason, and while both would slot in nicely at third base, their top priority is said to be working out a new contract with Turner.

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