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Dodgers: Justin Turner Talks Rendon Pursuit, Moving From Third Base



Dodgers third baseman — yes, he’s still the third baseman mind you — Justin Turner joined the Petros and Money radio show on AM570 on Wednesday and touched on several topics in his first full interview since October.

One topic was a headline that has followed Turner and the Dodgers all off-season long, or at least until Anthony Rendon agreed to a contract with the Anaheim Angels. Yes, we’ve heard for months that the veteran would be fine with a move to first base if it meant importing elite talent at the hot corner.

Now Turner clarified some things.

First, the question is asked about the potential move to 1B, “how did that come up, and did anybody ever bring it up to you?” Did Turner’s thoughts come across accurately? He first shared his thoughts on the idea of a move being out of his hands.

I think it got blown a little out proportion. I mean, I’m a team guy — I’ll do whatever it takes to win like I said — I just want to win a championship.

At the end of the day, it’s not my job to decide who’s coming in here and playing, and who’s playing where. That’s Dave’s [Roberts] job, and it’s Andrew’s [Friedman] job to sign free agents and all that…

Regardless of how I felt I was going to haven’t a choice. If they signed Rendon and Dave wants me to play first, I’m gonna to play first I don’t have a choice.

But the money quote came after the setup.

I didn’t actually say it.

For more than two months the impression has been that JT would welcome the move to first if it meant winning. And while that may be true in spirit, he wasn’t ready to pack up his bags for the move across the diamond to first base.

In fact, it was a media spin on a halfhearted statement he made while the Dodgers were still playing the Washington Nationals… and Anthony Rendon.

I actually got approached by a reporter … he came up and asked me about Rendon being a free agent and whether or not I want him to come to LA and I’m like, ‘dude, we’re about to go play against this guy — I don’t have time to talk about this’ and I kind of left at ‘look, I’ve played all over the place my whole career — whatever happens happens and I’ll adjust’ and I think the headline to the story was ‘Justin Turner agrees to move to first base.’

So is the door closed on Justin Turner, Dodgers first baseman? He never actively said that he does not want to play first, but you read between the lines and he has no desire to make the move. 

The off-season is far from over, and Friedman and company remain active in options to upgrade the club — several of which alter the makeup of the infield. While there’s time between now and mid-February, one fact remains…

You shouldn’t read too much into each headline and rumor you see.

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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.

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  1. Justin is a class act. He is always cheering his team mates on whether he is playing or getting a day’s rest. He is going to have a good year. So glad he is a Dodger. As for the article-yep lots of rumors. 90+% are just that.

    • Yep, and I believe we may have seen how this off season would go upon being bounced in the NLDS.. The very first transaction that Freidman made was to re- sign of all players Rocky Gale, albeit a minor deal. Really, that’s the team’s first response to what took place in October I said it before that Gale is SO BAD of a hitter that he makes Austin Barnes look like Johnny Bench or Mike Piazza.

    • Turner is a class act. He has also been the best Dodger hitter, year in and year out, since he came to the Dodgers. He smacked the ball so well as a utility guy the Dodgers had to find a permanent home for him and his bat. It became third base where he replaced Juan Uribe. But he would have played anywhere they asked him to play. He just wants to play. He thrived at third base defensively as well. Until just the last couple years his defense at third was well above average as well. He is a leader by example. I do think it’s time to move him to first, and get a righthanded power hitter on the left side of the infield. The best way to look at this is the need for two right handed Turner type guys. We’re not thinking about moving Turner for a totally different kind of guy at third. We want another guy just like Turner, especially for this lefty heavy batting order.

  2. This veteran gets it!
    Willing to move to a different position to make room for someone seen to help this team to a championship.

    Which the front office would have been as cooperative.

    This team deserves better then the folks in the front office that represent them.

    • You said it Dodger Blue! Thank you for serving! We all deserve better from the FO as they real in our money and don’t have anything to show for it!

      • hey Kirk, what is your view about signing Josh Donaldson? Dodgers don’t have to part with top prospects they seem reluctant to include in any deal. And even though Donaldson is older, he could eventually be a David Frreese type player and we know he would not be in all 162 games anyway. Nobody on this team will.

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