Rejoice, Dodgers fans! Your team blew $50 million past the luxury tax threshold to sign Trevor Bauer and bring back fan favorite Justin Turner, whose signing was announced on Friday.
Though the full terms of the deal have not yet been made official, we know it’s a two-year contract with reports suggesting the slugger will be paid $34 million in total. Now that he’s back, Los Angeles brings back one of their clubhouse leaders and maintains a dominant infield, with Gavin Lux likely to take over at second base.
As for how the Dodgers made room for Turner, which many were pondering since he signed last week, the team moved pitcher Caleb Ferguson to the 60-day injured list as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery.
Nothing to worry about! Nobody’s losing a roster spot. Happy spring training!
The 24-year-old Ferguson underwent the procedure in September, so he likely won’t pitch in 2021. Since debuting back in 2018, he’s appeared in 96 games (six starts) and has a 3.93 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 140 strikeouts across 112.1 innings to his name. After a promising 2020, the Dodgers likely expect him to contribute when 2022 rolls around.
As for Turner, his return has always felt like it’d be instrumental in the Dodgers’ continued run of success, given how valuable he’s been to the team ever since arriving in 2014. His efforts in 2020 — even in his age-35 season — were a clear difference-maker in helping the organization capture its first World Series in 32 years.
But for a while during the offseason, it felt like he wouldn’t be coming back. Initial reports indicated Turner was seeking a four-year deal, and that seemed awfully steep for a 36-year-old. Then, other intriguing landing spots like the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves and New York Mets emerged as possibilities, and his departure started to feel real.
Then again, we shouldn’t stayed cool about it this entire time. There’s no franchise like the Dodgers, and it wouldn’t have been right if Turner signed elsewhere. He was meant to finish his career in LA, especially after the magical run in 2020, and thankfully he’ll remain in town as the Dodgers try to maximize their success in this fortuitous two-year window.