If there was ever a time for the Dodgers to sign Justin Turner, it’s today.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked with seemingly every big-named free agent on the market, but outside of a few statement bullpen additions, they’ve been relatively quiet in terms of going above and beyond to sign players.
In terms of their biggest needs, the hole at third base really sticks out, and it remains to be seen if the Dodgers will bring back veteran Justin Turner or pivot to somebody like Marcus Semien, who surprisingly isn’t being pursued all that aggressively despite putting together a string of excellent years with Oakland, to fill it.
Or why not both?
Seeing as the Dodgers’ options are largely fading, re-signing Turner would make the most sense, as he fits the need of a right-handed position player who can play third base. The 36-year-old just happens to still do both at an elite level despite being in the supposed twilight of his career.
With that in mind, the club should try to get a deal done as soon as possible so he doesn’t have the opportunity to negotiate with other potential suitors. In fact, signing him today (Friday) would make the most sense, as Jan. 22 is regarded as “Justin Turner Day” by the city of Los Angeles in recognition of his 2018 exploits.
Come on now.
We know the Dodgers are fresh off ending their championship drought in 2020, so they really don’t owe their fan base much this time of year. However, re-signing Turner on the day he was permanently enshrined as a Los Angeles legend would be poetic beyond words.
How many LA-based icons can you think of that have a specific day on the calendar dedicated to them? The list isn’t as long as you would think, given the city’s well-documented standing as a superstar breeding ground, and that just speaks to how much Turner is beloved by fans.
And for any Dodgers diehards concerned that the club’s interest in Semien could derail their chances at retaining Turner, a source close to insider Peter Gammons enlightened him on the possibility of them signing both high-profile infielders.
Turner’s production has tailed off a bit in recent years, but he was never going to keep up the absurd numbers he posted during his prime. Despite being on the proverbial back end of his career, however, he’s posted a .307/.398./.504 slash line to go with 66 home runs and 213 RBI over the last four campaigns.
What more needs to be said? The Dodgers still have plenty of time to pull this off today, but the clock is ticking. No pressure or anything.