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Dodgers Have Inquired on Marlins’ First Baseman Garrett Cooper

Another right-handed bat that could be an indication of JT’s status.



Another day appears to have gone by without Justin Turner returning to the Dodgers. With each passing day and each new rumor, the likelihood of JT coming back to Los Angeles shrinks a little more. 

Today, the rumors involve the Dodgers and a right-handed bat out of Miami. Los Angeles reportedly has inquired with the Marlins on first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper. His presence in the lineup and on the bench would likely mean that Justin Turner would no longer be an option, so he can probably be viewed as the contingency plan. 

Cooper has been very productive for the Marlins over the last 2 years. albeit in very limited showings. Between 2019 and 2020, Cooper combined to slash .281/.347/.459 with an OPS of .806 in 141 games. If he were to land with the Dodgers, he would likely represent the option at first base against left-handed pitching. Cooper crushed southpaws in 2020 with 14 hits in 40 at-bats. 

Dodgers Related: Mets and Brewers Still in on Justin Turner

The Dodgers’ interest in him would also probably mean that Max Muncy and Edwin Rios would take over responsibility at third base. Against right-handed pitching, Muncy or Rios would play the hot corner. 

At this point, it’s unclear how serious the inquiry is, but Turner would likely need to land somewhere else to make it happen. At age 30, Cooper has 3 total seasons of team control left. He would also cost just $1.9 million against the luxury tax. 

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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. Having a player like Muncy allows for that type of flexibility. Muncy can play second or third and Cooper has a lot of upside. Interesting…

    • Cooper is an interesting, under the radar, guy. He is an RHB that can hit for average and at least some power. He’s been in MLB for 4 years, but only has the equivalent of one full season across those 4 years. He’s 30. So he’s not a kid. But he may still be developing his power stroke, after a late start as an MLBer. He would probably come very cheap in a trade where we could also dump some salary. I think this guy has hidden upside. We could move Muncy to 2B to make room.

  2. I’ve been saying the whole off season that we needed a player like David Freese who can play 1b and either of or 3b. That would give us a better lineup against lefthanded pitching. I don’t think it signals anything about JT. We still need him. It might signal the trade that we have all been anticipating to get rid of some salary and get another lefty masher!

  3. Actually it’s more likely that Cooper would go to 1B, Muncy would go to 2B, JT would return to 3B, and Taylor would become the already all around utility guy that he is and Hernandez was. With Bellinger still unable to swing a bat, Taylor may be needed more in the outfield, than the infield.

  4. Karma would have Dodgers losing Turner to the Mets as NY’s payback for grabbing Bauer–and Justin’s for Friedman’s refusal to budge beyond a two-year contract.
    Then Justin teams with Lindor, Alonso and Conforte to lead NY to the division championship, and a NL series against the Dodgers.
    JT hammers Bauer and leads Mets to the World Series…

    • I don’t see bad karma for getting Bauer, NY nor anyone else was entitled to him. Turner though yes, I think the Dodgers are going to blow that one and the chemistry will not be the same

    • Wow. I guess it’s a good thing karma isn’t real. If it was, it could run over your dogma too.

  5. If Lux is a huge question mark defensively at 2B, Muncy is just a question mark playing there. Max as the regular 2B has problems written all over it. Perhaps as an occasional fill-in, but not the regular guy. As for JT, since he’s still out there, seems like no one has met his 4 year ask, assuming that’s even what his ask is. I hope by this time next week, we can close on the discussion of JT playing somewhere else

  6. Cooper could platoon with Muncy at 1B with Rios playing 3B. They are still going to give Lux every chance to play 2B every day, but have guys like Taylor who can play there if he still isn’t ready. JT is totally entitled to seek a 4 year deal. No team will probably give him that. I doubt the Mets will do it just because they lost out on Bauer. The Mets got their primary target this offseason.

  7. Everyone assumes JT has been offered a 2 year contract. I think if that were true, JT would have signed long ago. I think he’s only been offered a 1 year contract and AF is waiting for JT to sign elsewhere and has a trade already in place with Cleveland for Ramirez.

  8. Three years is a reasonable ask for Turner. We need a right handed power hitting 3b for two years to bridge the gap to our prospects or to come up with a replacement in kind for JT. Year three of the contract can be a roll of the dice re having a DH by then. Seriously, consider what we would have to give up in a trade to get a decent 3b and weigh that against giving Turner a third year. Four years is probably not in the cards anywhere so Friedman is right in not caving to that. The players union will force a DH in the NL by the time Turner is reduced to DH only. Assume we don’t know all the facts or this would have happened already

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