The Los Angeles Dodgers lit up the baseball world on Friday when they signed Trevor Bauer to an enormous three-year contract, making him the highest-paid player on an AAV basis for the next two seasons. We’re truly not sure who is going to be able to compete with this starting rotation in 2021.
But fans are likely wondering what’s going on with Justin Turner at this point. The Dodgers blew $30 million past the $210 million luxury tax threshold with Bauer’s deal and still figure to be in the mix for Turner. But what if he continues to demand more than they’re willing to pay? The circumstances have likely changed given how dramatically their payroll situation has changed.
So what’s going on with Turner, and can LA fans expect him to return? Well, right now, aside from the Dodgers, the Milwaukee Brewers and one other “mystery team” are reportedly in on the slugger, even though before the Bauer signing it was presumed Turner was likely going to return to the reigning World Series champs.
Now, it’s a bit murky.
Could the mystery team be the New York Mets, who Bauer teased in free agency before bolting to LA? Now, the Mets can repurpose that $40 million and fill a number of positions of need. They could still use a guy like Turner in addition to a center fielder, another starting pitcher and another reliever.
Plus, Turner really began his MLB career with the Mets before he was non-tendered and signed with the Dodgers. Can’t deny that connection, especially if they’re willing to pay.
The Dodgers are still reportedly negotiating with Turner, and it’s likely he wants to return since LA is now the heavy favorite to repeat as World champs. But will he sacrifice the money he truly wants, in what will likely be his final big payday, for another ring? It’s a valid question to ask, especially since there could be better suitors out there willing to give him closer to what he wants.
Turner seems to have been put in a tough spot by the Dodgers since it feels like he’ll have to choose between winning or getting paid. Or maybe Andrew Friedman will just pay him and continue to luxury tax onslaught! We’d surely like that, wouldn’t we?