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Dodgers Reportedly 2 Years Apart on Contract With Justin Turner

There is a significant gap between the two sides right now.



I would guess that there isn’t a Dodgers fan out there that wouldn’t love to see Justin Turner get a deal to return this year. It would just need to be at the right price. There is a limit on what sort of deal that he should get, and it doesn’t appear that LA is eager to give him everything he wants to finish his career here. 

The latest report out of the LA Times is that Turner is seeking a deal for 4 years on his next contract. That would have JT playing through his age-39 season, and likely retiring a month before he hits 40. The Dodgers are not looking to go that far into his career with a contract commitment. 

The Dodgers are reportedly only interested in bringing Turner back on a 2-year pact, per the report. That means that not only are the two sides far apart on the length of contract but likely total dollars as well. With just 6 weeks until LA is set to report for Spring Training, there isn’t a whole lot of time for the two sides to meet in the middle. 

Related: Dodgers Fans Decide Between Justin Turner and LeMahieu

If another team is willing to give JT the 4 years he wants, it wouldn’t make sense for him not to go there. The Dodgers don’t NEED to give in to his demands and give him extra years, and they’ve shown that by their rumored interest in DJ LeMahieu. If he is willing to take a shorter deal, then I would fully expect LA to give that to him. 

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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. Dodgers Front Office needs to step up and pay the man! Fred Claire, my friend, where are you now? If you have some influence, please spread it heavy on the Dodgers keeping Justin Turner, 3 years and a pay hike with the option for year 4.

    • As much as I love JT and what has he brought to the Dodgers and the Los Angeles community, 4 years is a little too long. JT will forever embody what being a Dodger is all about. He bleeds blue which I love but with his age and declining power and defensive metrics, 2 years is the max I would offer. Maybe add a team option for a 3rd year with a decent buy out to as a thank you bonus when they decline it. The only way I would give him 4 years is if the Per year average is lower than his market price. Let him man 3rd base for 2 years and then bring him off the bench for the next 2 as our super RH pinch hitter and spot starts on the field. We have a potential stud 3rd baseman waiting in the wings in Kody Hoese that should be ready to slide right in in a few months. If JT wants to come back to the Dodgers, he needs to compromise. We should still go after DJ LemaHieu too and let him play 2nd. He could also back up Turner at 3rd when needed. After seeing 2 cups of coffee from Lux, I’m not completely sold on him .

  2. Fours years is too long at this point. Sure, I can see why he wants that. And I rarely side with management on these sort of issues (the extra year they weren’t willing to go on Greinke may have been the difference in the 2017 World Series). I still think that two years with an option for the third makes the most sense to the Dodgers going forward. But if JT can get more elsewhere he probably should take it.

    • I agree with you. I think an incentive-laden contract for two years with a buy out option for the 3rd year is about all they should offer.
      We all appreciate JT and all he has brought to the Dodgers.
      JT has been fragile when did he last play an entire season?
      The Dodgers have options. If another club will give him 4 years he should sign with them.
      Sorry if he leaves but the Dodgers are being prudent in what they offer him. LeMahieu wants 5 years. If someone wants to sign JT for 4 years they should splurge for LeMahieu.

    • The difference in the 2017 World Series was the Houston Astros’ cheating… and then Dodger bats going silent in Game 7.

  3. Give Justin Turner the FOUR YEARS and go get either with a trade or Purchase a BIG Right Handed BAT…….. Come on Andrew, don’t hold back and get it done!

    • So… there was this thing called Corona. It decimated baseball financials. A little fiscal responsibility will be much better in the long run. I love JT as much as every other Dodger fan, but he’s already a shadow of what he was. In the next few years, he’ll continue to decline. That seems like a certainty. In 4 years, he won’t be able to play defense at all, and his hitting will be sporadic. Two years is all that makes sense. … And if you sign JT, where does this “BIG Right Handed BAT” play?

      • I don’t understand how you – or anyone who posts here – can say he’s already a shadow of himself or done if you watched the World Series. The guy slashed 346/720/1066 with 2 HRs – that’s like MVP caliber. During the season he slashed 400/469/838 with an OPS+ of 135 which is only like border-line all-star and he exceeded his career averages.

        For comparison here are some career numbers:
        Arenado 349/541/890 with OPS+ 120
        Bryant 380/508/889 with OPS+ 134
        Lindor 346/488/833 with OPS+ 117
        Rendon 372/490/862 with OPS+ 127

        As you can see, JT has and still runs with the big dogs and he has plenty in the tank for 2 more seasons. FanGraphs projects him to put up his typical numbers in 2021 while playing in 130 games. I’m not being sentimental – by the numbers he is a “BIG Right Handed BAT.”

  4. I get that JT was the looked to as the leader of this team, but the acquisition of Betts and his instant helping of others has replaced JT as that leader. JT got to play late in his career and believes it should e made up for on the backend with a contract that has him playing to the age of 40.

    The problem is JT isn’t accepting the drop off in his hitting, and though his fielding hasn’t per se, it will by injury or age, and considering possible lost time for injuries likely to befall an aging player, I cannot fathom passing on DJL for JT either for a 2year deal, and especially for a 4 year deal.

    JT has meant much to the Dodgers, but he simply doesn’t mean as much now and his price is too high regardless. Don’t make good-bye harder than is needed.

  5. Justin “Red Dream” Turner (10) Take the two year contract that is very reasonable. Also it would be great if Andrew Friedman can get D.J. LeMahieu he can play second, Third or SS base if not then trade for Francisco Lindor so he can play SS and Cory Seager on third and a JT on second base. If JT refuses the two years then go after LeMahieu and Lindor they both want a World Series Ring.

  6. Dodgers paid Chase Utley 1M each for his age 38 and 39 seasons, a sure hall of famer, team leader type, who was actually in excellent physical shape and had over 500 ABs in his age 37 season. Turner is dreaming if he thinks anyone is going to give him 4 years at significant money. You don’t win championships by clogging your payroll with guys past their expiration date, and I love Turner just like everybody else does.

  7. The 4 year ask is a negotiation tactic to get the team off 2 so they can settle on a 3 year contract. Both sides need to wrap it up.

  8. I agree on the two-year deal with a team option for year 3.

    Maybe they can swing a multi-year deal as player and bench coach. He can pinch hit as the bench coach. Would be a great mentor for infielders coming up: Lux, Hoese, Busch, Amaya, Vargas, Mann and Estevez…

  9. Loved and watched the Dodgers my whole life. Let’s be honest folks, he is likely not worth the 2 years. They can get younger, stronger options. He is not holding up anymore. We don’t need lead weight like many aging players become just for sentimental purposes. For all those that have yelled that the Dodgers need to win, JT is just not a move in the right direction anymore.

  10. Two years Max. for Turner. Offer 1year with team option for 2nd year. Otherwise, later Turner. Look how the Patriots did business, when players got too expensive, pivot . What irks me is that positive COVID test Turner got in Game 6, and then rejoining team, Bonehead. Look at the mess Los Angeles, the city, the county, and the state of California is in!

  11. 4 years is too long, 2 is feasible/reasonable for Dodgers. If JT can find another club offering 4 years, likely an AL club, he should take it.

  12. I will simply go along with most here that say a 2 year deal plus a 3rd year option is as reasonably as it gets considering his age and if no DH in NL, he certainly won’t play every day. Honestly I’m somewhat surprised JT is wanting 4 years.

      • Robin, it thus boils down to where JT wants to play to finish up his career. I mean, as others have said that if another team will actually offer him 4 years and that’s most important to him then he should take it. As of now there may be a younger player available to fill a RHB spot should JT decide to play elsewhere

  13. Love JT and hope he settles for a two-years guaranteed, with an option for a 3rd. Especially if Friedman inks Liam Hendricks as well.
    Rather than lock up DJ in a 5-year deal, Friedman may want to save $$ for long-term deals with Seager, Buhler, Belli while also providing openings for the likes of Rios and Lux, and top minor leaguers Hoese and Busch.
    Regardless, something else to consider: Perhaps the Dodgers carry 3 catchers, mixing in the switch-hitting Ruiz while giving Smith occasional starts at 3B (and DH) and Barnes at 2B (his original position). Barnes is fast and would probably be fine in LF too. If JT doesn’t come back, perhaps Rios could platoon at 3B with Smith. Just a thought.

  14. Don’t let JT leave! He is still the heart and soul and manager of the future. He deserves 2 years with an option on the 3rd. Betts has become a great club leader, but he isn’t JT in that regard. JT has earned another signing. Don’t mess up the chemistry any more. Losing Kike is bad enough- not JT, too.

  15. Suffice it to say, there are few Dodgers fans, including myself, who want to see JT leave. He has been a wonderful leader and fan favorite. With this being said, if he is not willing to take 2 years (with a 3rd year option) at 36 we should move forward and consider our options. If JT does not return, I wish him the best.

  16. As a lifetime Dodger fan (over 65 years now) I really appreciate what Turner has done for our team and our city. But it doesn’t make sense to give a 36 year old a 4 year contract. I can’t imagine Turner playing 3rd base at age forty. He is looking a bit fragile now. But two years makes much more sense.

  17. Longtime Dodger fan and a fan of the players. This is a business decision not a decision based on popularity. Give Justin a 2 yr deal with team option for 3rd yr. Justin declined in 2020 statistically. I don’t see a major signing of an elite free agent at the hot corner this year.

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