The Dodgers race to sign Justin Turner in free agency got uncomfortably close to the start of Spring Training. A deal that was expected to be in place soon after the end of the World Series dragged all the way into February, generating a lot of questions.
As it turns out, a big reason for that might have been the universal DH. Dodgers President of Baseball Operations said on Friday that the DH did not play into the signing of JT, but that it may have possibly prevented them from signing a few pieces in the offseason.
Friedman also admitted that the Dodgers had a few backup plans just in case JT signed elsewhere. And from what it sounds like, there were quite a few teams interested in signing Turner to a deal before he returned to Los Angeles.
We had a lot of different conversations on the trade front and free agents and just trying to line things up. The most difficult part of the offseason is the timing….but from our standpoint, our ideal outcome was ending up with Justin returning…but worst cases scenario had he gone somewhere else, we had different alternatives that we felt confident we could execute if it got to that.
Friedman was not naming any free agent in particular, but there were several guys linked to the Dodgers in the offseason. Designated hitters Marcell Ozuna and Nelson Cruz could have potentially been a great fit if the DH was in the NL. Kris Bryant was an option at third base for a brief moment. And other names like Eugenio Suarez and Jose Ramirez at third base also could have fit the need.
Speculation is easy, but we may never know what Andrew Friedman was dreaming up for the Dodgers lineup without JT.
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