Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 backup plans if Justin Turner signs elsewhere

Jason Reed
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 17: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Will Smith #16 after hitting a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 17, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 17: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Will Smith #16 after hitting a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 17, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Dodgers
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Dodgers /

1. Keibert Ruiz

Could Keibert Ruiz be the option to help replace Justin Turner?

Perhaps the Los Angeles Dodgers only have their eyes set on Justin Turner but have a readily available internal option if he signs elsewhere. If that’s the case, the best way for the team to do so is to call up the big-league-ready prospect Keibert Ruiz.

Ruiz has long been the best catcher in the Dodgers’ farm system (although Diego Cartaya might be even better) but was essentially leap-frogged by Will Smith, who has been the best hitting catcher in the big leagues since his call up, creating log jam the position for Ruiz.

Turner signing elsewhere could open the door for Ruiz on the 26-man roster. Smith can also play third base, which he did in the minor leagues. He started 54 games at the hot corner across four seasons.

I would not be surprised if they convert Smith down the line. He’s not a terrible fielder, but he certainly is not as good behind the plate as Ruiz or Cartaya. That could start this season if Turner leaves.

Ruiz and Austin Barnes could take care of the catching duties in the event Smith makes this transition. This knocks out three birds with one stone. The Dodgers get better behind the plate defensively, find a spot for Ruiz to finally get big-league looks, and remove the constant need for off days for Smith.

Ruiz is a switch-hitter who had nearly identical splits in the minors last season. The ceiling is higher in 2021 with Bryant or Ozuna, but the Dodgers would not have to trade prospects and could spend money elsewhere by going this route.

What do you think? Of the three plan B options proposed, which would you like to see the most? Let us know in the comments down below!

facebooktwitterreddit