On a day where the Dodgers are expected to introduce Trevor Bauer to the media, rumors involving free agent Justin Turner have bordered on non-existent. The heart and soul for the LA ballclub remains on the free agent market, and with that, a glaring hole at third base becomes more prominent as the team is set to open camp at Camelback Ranch next week.
Still, most insiders and experts fully believe that JT will be back with LA before the bell rings. Including manager Dave Roberts… and it doesn’t get more insider than that. Doc caught up with SportsNet LA on Wednesday to discuss the team heading into spring training. Moreover, he shared his expectations for his former All-Star third baseman.
I don’t know if it’s expectation or maybe my heart, my hope is bleeding in, but I’m expecting him to be our third baseman. I know how much he loves Los Angeles, the Dodgers, the fans, and that love is reciprocated by the organization. But, when you’re talking about business — and he and Kourtney, his wife are going through this — and I hope something comes to a deal because I know that we all value him and he was meant to be a Dodger and I’d love to see that happen.
While the Dodgers have been linked to big third base names all offseason long, there never seemed to be much substance behind the rumors. We always knew that Colorado wouldn’t trade Nolan Arenado in division to LA. We knew that DJ LeMahieu always wanted to return to the New York Yankees. And we know that Justin Turner wants to return to LA.
But baseball is a cruel business sometimes.
Reports say that Turner is seeking a 4-year to leave Los Angeles. However, he could be open to something a bit shorter to remain with the club. At 36-years-old, he’s looking for his last big deal before father time says he can’t play anymore. And with the Dodgers, he’s honestly earned that deal.
Without JT, the club would rely on a rotation of unproven commodities at the hot corner in 2021. Roberts has mentioned Edwin Rios as an option in the past. Matt Beaty was refining his 3B skills last spring training in an effort to pick up more at-bats during the season. Max Muncy, as much as he hates it, could suit up at the position, but that opens a hole at first base, which is less likely. Even Chris Taylor could see time at third, but his services as a utility man will be more important after the club let Enrique Hernandez walk this offseason.
Everything about Justin Turner and the Dodgers makes sense. Bring him home.