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Dodgers: Justin Turner’s 4-Year Contract Demand May Not Be What It Seems

JT did want 4 years, but not necessarily from the Dodgers.



It’s not often that you hear of a 36-year-old infielder asking for a 4-year deal in the big leagues. But that’s exactly where the Dodgers find themselves with Justin Turner heading into the 2021 offseason. 

The earlier reports from JT’s free agency was that he was looking for a 4-year deal that would take him to retirement. That fact alone had many counting the Dodgers out on him, as they are now in a position where they could let him walk if his demands got out of hand. His asking 4 years from LA would certainly be a reach. 

But as it turns out, his contract demands might not be as simple as it seems. David Vassegh revealed on High Heat this week that Turner probably was asking 4 years, but only for a team to pry him away from the Dodgers. 

We heard the report about him wanting 4 years. My belief is that he wanted 4 years from another team to pry him away from Los Angeles. He just means too much to the team, to the city of Los Angeles for him to just leave for the same amount of years and dollars. 

It would make sense if Turner was asking teams to beat anything the Dodgers could offer, not just match it. JT has made a name for himself out in Los Angeles, and he probably has the opportunity to win more championships here than any other team that would take him. 

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With that in mind, Vassegh fully expects that the Dodgers and JT will come to a resolution here soon. Turner is back in Los Angeles working out, and there is very little reason to believe that he will not be signing with the Dodgers. 

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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. I have no problem with a 4-year deal, but not the typical deal. Two years as 3B/1B/DH, two years as the bench coach. He can still pinch hit as a bench coach. Heck, Dave Roberts can pinch hit if he wants.

    Just get it done, Friedman!

  2. LA needs JT- his leadership, his charitable endeavors, and yes, his talent. His timely and dependable bat is invaluable to this team- but you can’t replace his HEART!

  3. Cannot imagine JT with a different Team as he means so much to the Team and the City, but, if another Team is willing to go 4 years and 50% more $$$, I can respect that attempt for his family.

  4. Sign Turner and be over this, Justin “MR. Dodger” Turner belongs in Dodger Blue! Come on Andrew quit dragging your feet dude! Also you need to trade for or purchase a BIG TIME right handed BAT. Lets get the deal done!

    • Big time right-handed bat?? How does Trevor Story coming over to LA to take over 3rd base with JT as our DH?

  5. Emotion doing the speaking, I’m all for JT getting four years. He has proven time and again that Dodger blue is in his blood.. However, looking at it from a business perspective, four years is a lot for a team like the Dodgers to give in light of having such an outstanding farm league and reputation for players around the world wanting to lace-up in a Dodger uniform..
    In the business of baseball, never say never,,,

    • I actually agree. I love JT, but 4 years is too many. He only wanted 4 from other teams because that’s what it would take to pry him away. I say we offer him a front-loaded three-year deal worth around $30M. That should get the job done.

      • Yep hitting a baseball at a high percentage in the MLB is one of the most difficult things to do in sports. A hitter has an incredibly short time frame to see the ball and decide where it is going and if they should swing.
        As a person gets older we all slow down. Turner is already starting to miss or foul off high fastballs its inevitable.
        Turner has maybe two years left of being an effective offensive player. His range at 3rd has already effected. His fielding ratings have slowly been going down the last few years.
        He is a great clubhouse leader and a solid player but not at a 3-4 year deal. I think they should offer him an incentive-laden 2 year deal with a 3rd year option or buyout.

  6. It is difficult to measure how much leadership and other intangibles affect a team. If JT were to sign with another club, perhaps another good right handed hitting third baseman could compensate for that leadership. Other players are quite capable of filling that role. Mookie? Steve Garvey told me that when the “Baby Blue” first started that they had no one to show them how to act like a major leaguer. It seemed to work. Even without JT, it will “work out”

  7. Why not structure a deal with benchmarks that JT has to hit after 2 years. Those benchmarks could be number of games played, and/or batting average, and/or fielding percentage; take your pick or choose other benchmarks. If he reaches the benchmark(s), then that triggers the next year after the first 2 years. Then 3, and then 4.

  8. I absolutely love JT, but I really hope he can survive on the roughly 70+ million dollars he’s earned in his career upon his retirement. Oh, the horror of only a two year deal. I don’t fault him for trying for more. I took me longer then ten years to make my first million dollars, and I’m a teacher!

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