Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
A minor league deal for Justin Turner? Count me in on that one! Looks like Ned has his utility guy. And if it sounds like i’m getting overly excited about Justin Turner, it’s because I probably am. He’s a native of the Long Beach area, went to Cal State Fullerton. Quite frankly i’m shocked it took this long to get Turner signed, he’s everything that Ned wants in a utility guy, “gritty”, plays multiple positions, probably a good clubhouse guy. We all know Ned has a thing for those type of guys. And Turner is so much better than whatever else is on the market, or even in house. Of course, Jeff Baker is the ideal here, as he’s an all star type caliber hitter versus left handed pitching, one of the most underrated players in the game, but he’s of course, not going to happen.
After Jeff Baker, Turner is probably the best utility guy of this free agent class, compiling pretty decent 98 wRC+’s in the past two seasons, he’s played 2b, albeit not very well as evidenced by his -18 DRS and -13.5 UZR in 816 career innings, but in the very small samples of 498.2 innings at 3b, and 188.2 innings at SS, he hasn’t been atrocious only being 1 run below average at both positions in terms of DRS. So he plays multiple positions, almost a league average bat, hitting a cool .280 last year. I like him.
Now as much as we hope Chone Figgins bounces back, remember he couldn’t get a single plate appearance on the 2013 Miami Marlins. 2,401 plate appearances were allocated between Donovan Solano, Adeiny Hechavarria, Placido Polanco, Nick Green, Juan Pierre, Chris Valaika, and Dereck Dietrich somehow the Marlins thought more highly of Chris Valaika than Chone Figgins.
Gil Velazquez got a plate appearance in 2013, Chone Figgins did not.
But don’t worry, he’ll actually try this time.
You’re never going to convince me that Figgins can be a productive player going into his age 36 season after not cracking the Miami Marlins the year before until he actually goes out and proves it.
And no, Rojas or Sellers aren’t any better than Chone.
But one more interesting thing, this probably means something bad for Dee Gordon, he was preparing to man 2b this upcoming season, and if Andre Ethier/Matt Kemp are the backup CF, where is Dee going to play? Maybe it means he is backing up whichever middle infield spot Turner isn’t? Is Gordon major league depth for Turner when Justin is playing 3b? Or is it a situation where Gordon gets sent back to AAA and it’s Justin Turner who is in the “Nick Punto role”?
Bring On Spring Training, please.