A solid offseason just got that much better for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Justin Turner wanted to stay and the Dodgers made it happen. The Long Beach native is returning to the franchise with which he blossomed. The Dodgers and Turner are in agreement on a four-year, $64 million contract, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN, with the initial report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Turner’s signing comes on the heels of Kenley Jansen rejoining the bullpen. The Dodgers also retained veteran starter Rich Hill. Turner was widely considered the likeliest of the trio to stay, in part because he had a limited market. The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants were rumored competitors, but both spent their money elsewhere. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also checked in on Turner, though that marriage was considered a long-shot.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2016
Justin Turner deal is officially done with Dodgers at 4-years $64 million as confirmed by club source https://t.co/TatJ2p5klj
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) December 14, 2016
A long-time utility man, Turner’s career catapulted when he came home. In three seasons with the Dodgers, Turner flipped from mediocre infielder to middle-of-the-order threat. Last season, the 32-year-old hit .275/.339/.832 while setting personal bests in hits, triples, RBI and especially home runs, where his career-high rose from 16 to 27.
L.A. spent to keep its core together, with the re-signed trio tallying nearly $200 million in salary. Andrew Friedman and staff endured criticism from fans over conservative habits, but the organization decided the group it has is one worth keeping.
Asked someone to detail luxury tax penalties the Dodgers could incur the next two seasons. "A TON!" was the response. Yep, that covers it.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 12, 2016
Clayton Kershaw said if it were his call, he’d keep Turner and Jansen. The clubhouse is probably jubilant after what’s transpired, which certainly isn’t a bad thing for the Dodgers.
With Turner officially back in the fold, the Dodgers can shift their attention to middle relief and right-handed power. Turner, meanwhile, can enjoy being back with his hometown franchise with a hefty pay raise.