It might be time for Dodgers to admit letting Justin Turner go was a mistake

Max Muncy is hitting under .200 and the Dodgers were way too fine with letting JT go.

Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers' offense is one of the best in MLB ... but wouldn't it be cool if it were even better? Wouldn't it be cool if it only took a mid-tier free agent signing to make that happen? Wouldn't it have been cool if they'd kept a franchise icon?

We're talking about the Dodgers letting Justin Turner walk this past offseason. They ended up effectively replacing him with JD Martinez, but he's only on a one-year deal. They ended up banking on a bounce-back campaign from Max Muncy, but they're not exactly getting that.

Meanwhile, with the Red Sox, Turner is tearing the cover off the ball and has managed to play first base, second base and third base for Boston this year. He's not the best defender in the world, but he's capable. And it's not like the Dodgers are flush with Gold Glovers playing their natural positions at the moment.

Turner is currently one of the hottest hitters in baseball and showed during the second half of last season that he still has plenty in the tank. A slow start had him playing catchup, but he now already has two more homers than he did in all of 2022.

The most egregious aspect of him leaving was that, mysteriously, the Dodgers never contacted him. Turner became a free agent and waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and that was it. LA signed Martinez and then Turner left for Boston.

Did Dodgers make a mistake letting Justin Turner leave in free agency?

It was one thing to find a massive upgrade over Turner if the Dodgers were going to leave him hanging, but they went with a one-year deal for Martinez, who admittedly has been better, but also can't play defense and will 100% be gone after the 2023 season.

As for Muncy, his 22 home runs have been a help, but his .188 batting average is the worst in MLB among qualified hitters. He's been an average hitter for two straight seasons now, and arguably below average in three of the last four. It's been a mixed bag for the veteran since coming to LA in 2018.

On the other hand, JT was a consistent force, postseason legend, and fan-favorite. The Dodgers arguably could've made this work by keeping Muncy and adding Martinez! They're always moving pieces around and shuffling guys in and out.

Muncy's striking out at a career-worst rate. Martinez is essentially locked into the DH spot. Turner has been worth a -0.5 dWAR, but Muncy's been worth -0.2 while Turner's out-paced him 0.4 on the offensive end.

The Dodgers are humming along offensively. The problem is with their pitching. But Turner's departure was tough for many to swallow, and now seeing him going toe-to-toe with Martinez for the most part (and outperforming Muncy in almost every category) isn't exactly making fans feel any better.