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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Preparing for the Possibility of a Justin Turner Departure

For Friedman, it’s in the teams best interests to make sure they are ready.



Sometimes it’s tough to remember that at the end of the day, baseball is a business. There are Dodgers players that we’ve had to watch leave the team over the last decade or so that have absolutely broken our hearts. But in the end, this is still a business that needs to have long-term implications in mind. 

That’s where we arrive at Justin Turner. No Dodgers player has done more for the team and community around him than JT has done since he arrived in 2014. But Turner just turned 36 years old and is reportedly looking for a 3-year deal in free agency. 

The Dodgers know that having a veteran presence like JT’s in the clubhouse is important, and that’s why they’ve given contracts to aging players in the past. Chase Utley is a pretty good example of that. But for President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, it would be in the team’s best interest to prepare for a life without JT. Friedman talked with Alanna Rizzo about it on SportsNet LA on Wednesday night. 

There are a couple of areas that are front of mind for us that we’re focusing on. One is adding a right-handed bat, and with our position versatility, it doesn’t have to be at third base. Obviously, we’ve been very vocal about JT and how much he has meant to this organization. He’s earned the right to go out into free agency and get a feel for the market, and it’s incumbent on us to be prepared for if he and Kourtney find an opportunity they fall in love with for whatever reason. 

In a lot of ways, JT has been in decline for a few years now. His bat speed isn’t what it used to be, and that’s shown in his power and ability to catch up with fastballs up in the zone. His defense has been on a steady decline for a long time, and age will only make that worse. The Dodgers would obviously love to have him back, but a team with a better offer is a very real possibility. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I am sure we all want JT back. But the Dodgers are a business. Giving Turner a 3-year deal could be out of their comfort zone.
    I still think Turner will be a Dodger.
    But they have other options. Using Will Smith at 3rd as a right-handed bat and platooning with Rios and others would be a workable solution and allow them to bring up Ruiz.
    If money is as much an issue as it seems I doubt Pederson or Hernandez are re-signed.
    The Dodgers need to get bullpen arms. They have picked up guys like Morrow and Knebel that may be able to contribute. Jansen cannot be counted on to be a dominant closer as he has demonstrated the last two years.

    • Smith does not hit for a high enough average or power (not just yet) to play any other position other than catcher.

      • Are you kidding me? He has 23 homers in less than 300 major league ABs, batted .289 last year, with a .980 OPS. On top of that, he hit into a ton of bad luck, had some slumps where he was actually crushing the ball. The real question is whether you can afford to keep a bat like that at catcher, where he’s out of the line up 2 days a week, and getting all banged up.

  2. I was hoping JT would be back, but I did some checking ana JT only played in 42 games in 2020,135 in 2019,103 in 2018, and 130 in 2017. He misses a lot of games in fact in 4 years he has missed 136 games. He missed almost 1 season so far and as he ages, he may miss more. 1or 2 years ok, but no way 3 years.

  3. Well, if MLB can resolve whether the NL will have the DH or not, some of Freidman and Dodgers decisions could be made a lot easier. From this article it clearly suggests that JT would benefit to having a DH option available. That Dodgers can thus employ other options for 3rd makes bringing JT back on a shorter deal possible. But if Turner sticks to a 3 year deal demand, then it is why Freidman feels the need to move on to other possibilities for 3rd base.

  4. “it’s incumbent on us to be prepared for if he and Kourtney find an opportunity they fall in love with for whatever reason.”

    See how shrewd Andrew Friedman is? Drag JT’s wife into this so when they don’t sign him, it’s the wife’s fault.

  5. Baseball is not and should not be run like a business. Yes, keep your team financially solvent but it isn’t a business in the normal sense.

  6. I’m sorry, anyone who would blatantly put his family, fellow team mates and their families at risk should go. There are so many young men willing and able to take his spot on the roster. Plus they would do it for almost nothing. I just can’t get over the selfishness he displayed. I put my life on the line during the clean up if the World Trade Center, hoping to save lives. And here this Yahoo does what his did. GOOD RIDDANCE

    • Thank you for your work at the WTC but you should be sorry. Do you have any idea what this guy does for the city of LA?

  7. That baseball is a business is a tired cliche. It’s actually a game, and the business is about winning. Sure, every team has a budget, and if you want to win every year, you need to consider the big picture. If Turner leaves, it’ll be his business decision to seek a better deal somewhere else, because if wants to be part of the team next year, it’s his choice. I hope they work it out, but overpaying guys into their upper 30s has bad consequences, see Verlander, Cano, Pujols, and the list goes on and on.

    • Jackson, exactly right about it being Turner’s decision to remain with Dodgers or seek that 3 year deal elsewhere. Whether or not the Dodgers offer a 3 year deal remains to be seen.

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