Whether through salary arbitration or free agent negotiations, there's always another potential devaluing waiting around the corner for even the most well-established MLB players. As the (likely) end of his Dodgers career approached this offseason, Justin Turner was probably ready for things to get difficult ... but might not have been able to visualize just how uncomfortable things can get between familiar parties.
Just before the holidays, Turner signed a two-year deal with the Boston Red Sox taking him up to his age-40 season, with the second year of the contract being a player option. Recruiters across the Boston metro area from Bill Belichick to old teammate Kiké Hernández took up the cause, reaching out to convince Turner that just because temperatures are a bit lower on the east coast doesn't mean there isn't a great environment for baseball.
Good thing for all that recruiting, too, because it doesn't seem like Turner was getting enough love on the home front.
The third baseman appeared on MLB Network's High Heat with former Dodgers reporter Alanna Rizzo on Monday, and spilled that the Era of Good Feelings certainly ended when he no longer held a contract in LA.
Despite the front office mentioning bringing Turner back as a "priority," actions speak louder than words.
Dodgers' Justin Turner didn't enjoy free agency process
Turner also spoke with JP Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group this past week, and reiterated the emotionless nature of his decision (though it probably took a lot of fighting back emotions to reach that point):
"“When you’re with a team that long and going into free agency, you’re always kind of waiting and hoping that they’re in play, but there’s a point that you realize this is a business. They had decisions they had to make. I had decisions I had to make. It just didn’t work out.”"- Justin Turner
Turner was clearly beloved in the Dodgers clubhouse for nearly a decade, befitting of a player who holds nearly all of the franchise's postseason records, steering the ship during arguably their most successful era. The "farewell" tribute video launched by the Dodgers after Turner's departure became official showed how much love and respect they held for his tenure, but also expressed clearly that they were willing to end said tenure before Turner was ready to call it quits.
That's the business.
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