Justin Turner is the longest-tenured member of the Los Angeles Dodgers not named Clayton Kershaw and his career with the team could be coming to an end. While the Dodgers signed Kershaw to a new one-year deal, the team also declined Turner’s club option for the 2023 season.
There’s still a situation in which the Dodgers bring back Turner, save some money, and do the longtime third baseman a favor as well. However, there’s also a situation in which Turner gets an offer he cannot refuse from another team and leaves the Dodgers after spending nearly a decade with the team.
While there are many directions the Dodgers can go this offseason, if Turner leaves, then the team could look to replace him with another veteran right-handed slugging bat. Aaron Judge is obviously the best right-handed slugger the Dodgers could add, but there are also options that are more of a direct Turner replacement.
These guys can live mostly in the DH spot while providing some relief on defense when manager Dave Roberts wants to get some of the starters off their feet for a few games.
3 right-handed sluggers the Dodgers can sign to replace Justin Turner
3. Jose Abreu
The 2020 American League MVP is hitting free agency after a bounce-back season with the Chicago White Sox. Jose Abreu did not follow up his MVP campaign with a great season in 2021, but we saw him return to form as a slugging first baseman in 2022.
Abreu slashed .304/.378/.446 with 15 home runs, 75 RBI and 85 runs scored. While the big power numbers might not have been there, Abreu was still a well-above-average hitter last season, finishing with a 137 wRC+.
The ball may not have left the yard all that often, but Abreu was still making great contact and has a lot of power. He ranked in the top 7% in the league in average exit velocity and in the top 3% in hard-hit rate. His xSLG was .487, which was in the top 8% of the league.
Spotrac estimates Abreu will get a two-year contract of just under $25.5 million. While he would have to DH in Los Angeles with Freddie Freeman playing first base, that would be a great price ($12.75 million per year) for someone who still hits the ball at an elite level.
While he’s getting up there in age (he’ll be 36 next year), he’s been nothing but reliable. Abreu has played in 93.7% of the White Sox’s games since coming into the league and has missed only a combined 15 games in the last three seasons.