The Dodgers believe they will retain free agent third baseman Justin Turner, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. Turner, a Los Angeles native, hadn’t expressed any desire to pursue the biggest contract, instead appearing committed to making it work with the Dodgers.

Re-signing Turner would be a major move. L.A. can shift its attention toward the bullpen and adding a right-handed bat, while comfortably knowing what it has at the hot corners.

If it’s a four-year deal instead of the rumored five, that’s a win for the Dodgers. Turner’s interest in staying and lack of suitors certainly didn’t hurt negotiations. From his perspective, he still gets his money and the opportunity to be a hometown hero, so fighting for a fifth year wasn’t prioritized. In fact, Turner was “hoping” for four years, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. He added the San Francisco Giants were interested in Turner, but Turner’s focus on re-signing in L.A. and the Giants’ contract with Mark Melancon ended talks before they began.

Justin Turner will host his second annual golf classic in Thousand Oaks January 2017

Olney points out the Dodgers payroll will float in the $220 range. The team will attempt to move albatross salaries such as Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir to further mitigate that number, but the real question is how that affects Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers are reportedly reluctant to match the $80+ million deal he’s been offered from Miami. The chances of L.A. keeping Turner and Jansen were low from the beginning, and it appears the team has chosen Turner.

When Turner’s deal is finalized, the dominoes should starting falling. The Dodgers have a big gap in the bullpen the team will move quickly to address. There are still Brian Dozier rumors, and the opportunity to trade for a bat is still there. Turner re-signing kicks off the Dodgers’ offseason.

If Turner stays, Clayton Kershaw will get what he wants

About The Author

News Desk

Gabe Burns is an award-winning journalist. He serves as a reporter and editor at the DodgersNation news desk. He additionally works as editor-in-chief of The Spectator, Valdosta State University's student paper. Gabe's work has been featured on a number of platforms, including Draft Breakdown and Pro Football Spot. His byline has been cited in media such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Aside from covering Dodgers baseball, Gabe enjoys watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Lightning. He can be followed on Twitter at @GabeBurns_DN.

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