1. Justin Turner
If Muncy’s option was already scooped via an extension, then what’s the wait on Justin Turner, who’s rebounded more emphatically and is further solidified as a Dodgers legend?
JT was another curious case, considering he holds a $16 million team option for 2023 but had a dreadful start to 2022. And with Vargas waiting in the wings, Turner, at the time, was making the potential tough decision for the front office a lot easier.
But thanks to Padres starter Joe Musgrove, Turner has shown life. In the 28 games since, the veteran is hitting .337 with 3 HR, 21 RBI and an .876 OPS. Though promising, is that production worth $16 million, especially with declining play on the defensive end?
Perhaps one option is to keep JT as a DH, utilize Vargas/Muncy at third, and keep the train rolling. Turner can always fill in at third when needed in 2023, which doesn’t exactly put pressure on Roberts — it just gives him another option on the roster.
Turner at $16 million as a DH (and one last hurrah as a Dodger) really isn’t a bad deal, and Muncy’s return actually helps that argument, because he’s played 59 of his 101 games at the hot corner this season compared to Turner’s 51. Last year, Turner played 143 games at third compared to Muncy’s seven. See what we’re saying?
That’s the happy ending, though. The bad one is that Turner is jettisoned for a better offensive option or as a cost-cutting measure to acquire more pitching. That’d be cutthroat, though, so we’re going to suggest the friendlier version of this potential scenario.