The Dodgers are going to either have to re-sign Justin Turner or replace him in free agency. These options could work!
When it comes to postseason performance and the willingness to embrace his own versatility, it’s very difficult to imagine the Dodgers replacing Justin Turner.
However, they might have to budget differently in 2021, especially coming off a pandemic season in which their ultimate goal of a championship was met. Though it may be in name only, there’s a chance the Dodgers choose to “replace” Turner and shuffle the deck chairs in free agency.
So, who’ll it be? A high-dollar option to make Hollywood forget about Turner, as much as that’s possible? Or a bargain free agent to add more depth in the wake of Kiké Hernández’s possible departure, too? The Dodgers will have to plan for Turner and Hernández to both exit stage right, and they’ll also have to find a place for Gavin Lux that isn’t “Nolan Arenado trade talks.”
It’s a tough task replacing this particular man’s leadership, but there are several ways the Dodgers can go about it.
3. DJ LeMahieu, the Expensive Option
If the Dodgers opt for DJ LeMahieu, they can out-spend the competition.
With every day that goes by in which the Yankees don’t extend DJ LeMahieu, that door opens just a bit further for the rest of the league.
LeMahieu is an annual MVP candidate with NL West experience, and is no doubt the cream of the free agent crop. Like Turner, he can play third base, letting Lux shift to second — or, they could opt to work things out the other way around.
He’s not going to break the bank in comparison to previous years, but LeMahieu’s likely incoming four-year deal at around $20 million per year might be the heftiest contract anyone signs in this grotesque offseason.
The Yankees would be foolish to let their best contact hitter, top fielder and fairly consistent power threat go for a price they could easily match, but hey, that’s showbiz in 2020, folks.
LeMahieu becomes a more realistic option by the day, as his list of suitors remains surprisingly low. Returning to the Yanks feels like the reunion everyone asked for, but outside of that, it’s the…Mets and Angels? And us? There isn’t even an intriguing speculative list here. We didn’t expect to have a crack at adding LeMahieu, but now the opportunity is upon us. He’s basically a younger Turner with the same pulse in big moments — that is to say, it’s unchanged and not context-dependent. Worth thinking about.