2. Justin Turner
Oof. Might get tarred and feathered for even mentioning this … but would the Dodgers really fork over $16 million for this Justin Turner, a shell of his former self?
An obvious Dodgers legend for his contributions over the last nine years, Turner has witnessed a never-before-seen regression in 2022 that might be a result of his season-ending hamstring injury in the NLCS.
He’s been a negative WAR player (-0.6 oWAR and -0.1 dWAR) and has hit just .212 with a .629 OPS and 74 OPS+ through 63 games. He’s only looked like his true self in flashes, which is a cause for concern in his age-37 season.
Turner’s $16 million team option for 2023 also has a $2 million buyout, which the Dodgers might just pay instead of investing an additional $14 million in the veteran’s age-38 season. There’s a reason the Dodgers didn’t fully bend on Turner’s new deal after the 2020 World Series victory. They have Miguel Vargas waiting in the wings at Triple-A and it could be time to usher in a new era.
The sad part is that Turner’s early returns in 2022 are writing that story without the Dodgers having to force the issue. This would be upsetting, but totally understandable should Turner fail to get back on track.