2. Justin Turner
If you haven’t heard by now, we’ll remind you again: Justin Turner has a $16 million team option (with a $2 million buyout) for the 2023 season, and the Dodgers’ top decision makers were non-committal when discussing it after the team’s playoff exit.
Turner wouldn’t answer questions about it after the team’s Game 4 loss in the NLDS to the San Diego Padres. It’s clearly a touchy subject for all. Why?
Well, Turner is entering his age-38 season. His first half of 2022 was dreadful. His defense is on the decline. Top prospect Miguel Vargas is waiting in the wings. Another early playoff exit more than likely has the front office trying to free up as much money as possible to add to the stacked roster.
Who knows? Maybe the option is picked up and Turner comes back as more of a DH option and clubhouse leader. That’s worth $16 million, if you ask us. But there’s a lot more to consider.
One more person on this list is a free agent, as are Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney and Tommy Kahnle. Money needs to be earmarked for a Julio Urías extension. And don’t forget about Joey Gallo and Craig Kimbrel! Just kidding. But those other six? Significant. And if they leave, replacements need to be found.
So with a younger, much cheaper third base option ready to make the transition, the Dodgers could be cutthroat in their decision to let Turner go. We’ve seen teams do much worse than this.