Recent free agency action proves the Dodgers need to get a deal done with Justin Turner.
According to the latest reports, we know there are three other teams in the Justin Turner sweepstakes. But now we can cross one off the list. Only the Milwaukee Brewers and another “mystery team” remain after the Toronto Blue Jays signed Marcus Semien on Tuesday.
Now, the Los Angeles Dodgers absolutely need to re-sign Turner as their other options in free agency continue to dwindle. Semien is in Toronto. Tommy La Stella signed with the division-rival San Francisco Giants, and Kiké Hernandez is a member of the Boston Red Sox.
The loss of Hernandez made Turner’s return even more vital because of the need to maintain the fabric of the clubhouse. Now with Semien and La Stella off the board, the Dodgers need to make sure they’re not significantly downgrading at third base, which is likely what they’d be doing if they don’t re-sign Turner (unless they have a trade in mind that would change all of that).
The Dodgers reportedly checked in on Semien and asked about his willingness to play second or third base. Now he’ll likely play second base in Toronto. La Stella always felt like a tertiary target due to his defensive versatility and aggressive bat. But two of the best options to potentially take Turner’s place are gone.
You’d think this would actually be advantageous for Los Angeles. And it kind of is in a way. The Brewers probably don’t have the payroll flexibility to sign Turner and the Blue Jays are all but officially out of the race. Process of elimination, right? Well, kind of.
But now it could all be about supply and demand. Teams in need of a slugging third baseman could be more inclined to meet Turner’s contract desires because of other options coming off the board.
Time to panic? Not at all. The Dodgers remain optimistic about a reunion with Turner and he likely prefers to be in LA over anywhere else. But we’d be remiss not mentioning what’s happening on the market right now since we just saw a run on some of the best available infielders that were among the speculated options for the Dodgers.
LA fans would certainly prefer if this was settled relatively soon, however.