Justin Turner lands back in AL East after thankfully spurning Dodgers rival

Phew. Not awful.
Los Angeles Dodgers  v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

The free agent market is wearing thin as the offseason winds down, but there are still a few familiar faces and former Dodgers floating around out there, waiting for new opportunities to find them. Among them still are Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernández, and JD Martinez, whose free agencies have been interesting to watch as the timer ticks down. Bellinger reportedly hasn't been given a formal contract offer by any team; Hernández could have some good options elsewhere but might be holding out for a return to the Dodgers; and JD Martinez's market has seemingly only just started to ramp up.

Newly escaping all of the noise is Justin Turner, a fan favorite during his nine seasons with the Dodgers, who let him go to Boston in free agency at the end of 2022. Per Jon Morosi, he'll stay in the AL East for at least one more year, moving north to Toronto for $13.5 million and $1.5 million in incentives.

Turner was never coming back to the Dodgers, but his signing with the Blue Jays is still good news for them because he was reportedly fielding interest from another NL West team, and perhaps the worst one he could've chosen to go to — the San Francisco Giants.

Former Dodger Justin Turner remains in the AL East after turning down the SF Giants

Last week, another former Dodger in Joc Pederson moved to the bourgeoning Dodgers rival in Arizona after spending two years with the historical ones in the Bay Area, making it seem like Pederson's mission for the rest of his career is to beat the Dodgers in the playoffs. Turner left LA with some hurt feelings back in 2022, but at least whatever grudge he might have didn't extend to seriously entertaining a contract offer with the other half of one of the oldest rivalries in baseball.

Turner will join the Blue Jays presumably as a full-time DH with occasional trade-offs between DH and first with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (and possibly third, in Matt Chapman's absence). Regardless, the move will be just another knife in the heart of Red Sox fans, who have watched their team's free agent pursuits run away from Boston throughout the offseason.

Turner will be a good addition to the Blue Jays, a team the Dodgers won't have to worry about at all unless both teams get deep postseason runs — much better there than he would've been in San Francisco, who the Dodgers will match up against multiple times throughout the season.