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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Still Hoping for a Justin Turner Return



Another day in and another day with no real news on the Justin Turner to the Dodgers front. The veteran third baseman has taken his time this offseason. After the World Series, he set out on an extended vacation in an RV with his wife Kourtney. But that vacation has since wrapped and he still isn’t back in blue.

Which feels strange…

On Wednesday, Dodger manager Dave Roberts joined MLB Network radio to chat about, among other things, Justin Turner and his personal hopes that the clubhouse leader returns to Los Angeles.

Roberts was asked about the Dodgers’ outlook in 2021 and the remaining plans for this offseason. Notably, the club is still focused on adding a right-handed bat to the lineup. And Doc has a guy in mind.

We talked at the beginning of the winter about trying to get a right-handed bat. And so, that’s something that we’re still trying to target. My wish list certainly is Justin — I’m one of his biggest advocates, and what he does for me and the ballclub speaks for itself.

It really can’t be overstated enough. The value Turner brings to the Dodgers is much greater than the production on the field. In the clubhouse, he is the general — he is the guy teammates turn to for guidance throughout a season. And in no place will that have more value than in Los Angeles. 

Still, in listening to Roberts, the sides seem to remain apart in contract talks this winter.

Both sides have gotta kind of work this thing out to make a deal. That right-handed bat is something we need and Justin is somebody I certainly value.

So, like many Dodgers fans out there today I ask this: how the hell is this deal not done yet? Both sides want to be together, and there’s a clear need on the Dodger side for a batter of his caliber in the middle of the lineup. Honestly, the longer this goes on the more awkward it feels, but that may just be the opinion of this writer.

Digging into the Latest Justin Turner Free Agency Rumors

Notably, Roberts briefly mentioned Edwin Rios while discussing Turner, perhaps alluding to the club plans if the veteran doesn’t return to LA. However, with outside infield target Marcus Semien now having inked a deal with Toronto, it takes away not only options for each the Dodgers and Justin Turner, but also bargaining chips. The Blue Jays filled that infield opening, and LA loses that Semien fallback plan.

Justin… Dodgers… just get it together already.

NEXT: Trevor Bauer Rumored to Be Seeking $250 Million and Holding Out Hope for Los Angeles

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

Comments

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    • Bingo. Exactly my thoughts Paul. If I’m the manager of a ball club, I’m talking to the FO all the time about what I need to win. And if I know I really need certain guys like JT to win it all, I’m not going to be shy about it when I talk to the FO.

        • Friedman promised to “get greedy” and then spent the winter sitting on his laurels while other teams took major steps. I guess he has reverted back to his Tampa Bay days.

  1. This is a top priority. If JT leaves we have an untested Rios at 3rd and a questionable Gavin Lux at 2nd. The only available 3rd baseman is Bryant, and his cost could be a problem.

    • AMEN, Derek! Or bring in another RHB from somewhere. Dodgers may be left with no other option than to trade for one, and since it’s the Dodgers and they are current WS Champs., this will be costly as well.

  2. One of the things that could be holding up a JT signing is the ridiculous delay in deciding whether they’ll be a DH in the NL or not. JT might have some teams telling him they might be interested if there is a DH, same for several other free agents, like Ozuna, Cruz, Joc. The market expands significantly for these guys with a DH, so makes sense they are waiting for that decision.

    • Right on, Jackson. All the teams including management and players want this and its beyond ridiculous that DH hasn’t been granted by now because guess what–managers and GM’s don’t want to see their high priced pitching commodities have to bat after being away from the batters box for over a year. Teams during these tough times are not happy with the prospect of losing front line pitching as a result from an AB.

    • Perhaps but everyone knows the DH will be here, if not this year, soon. Signing JT for for 3 years carries little risk with affordable production and huge intangible value. I hope Friedman is considering what message this awkward delay sends to all the young players on the team. If they do this to JT, they will do this to anybody.

      • Vald points here but we do know that several teams and current FA’S are being held hostage by this lack of clarification regarding the DH. I have a good idea as a result of all this and that is MLB should call for impeachment of Manfred. If this can be done to a President, certainly it can be done with Manfred.

  3. I am glad semien is off the board. I never want him he only had 1 unusually good years and he will never have another one.

    We don;t need strikeout suarez either.

    The list should be:

    Ramirez
    Bryant
    Story
    Baez
    Correa

    Probably in that order. Ans all of whom would have to be traded for.
    There is no 3 or rhb free agent worth bothering with. It have be by trade to fill the 3b/rhb needs.

    They should assume there will be a DH after the union and owners do their negotiation dance and sign Osuna or forget him all together.

    They should sign turner eventually for less than 4 years and will probably have to go with what they have at 3b or until they can make a trade.

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