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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