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Dodgers: What Does Justin Turner’s Next Contract Look Like? Discussing LA’s Future Plans at 3B



With Justin Turner a free agent, the Dodgers are faced with a tough decision regarding their future at third base.

This offseason, LA has already been (forcibly) linked to trade targets like Frankie Lindor, Kris Bryant, and Nolan Arenado. But how serious could LA be when it comes to making a blockbuster move two winters in a row?

So if not Arenado or Bryant, or Lindor, what will it take to keep Turner in Dodger blue for another season or two?

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If you were playing general manager, what kind of contract would you offer a 36-year-old infielder who is declining defensively? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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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. if I were Dodger GM, I would try and sign Turner to a 1 year with mutual option, or two year less money with a 3rd year option…give Rios a shot to see what he can do…if first year is a no go, then, if it looks like we can’t sign seager, we sign Rockies bound third baseman as he opts out, so I don’t have to give up 3 or 4 players to get him….If we can sign Seager…then questions is do you want to sign Beli to lifelong contract also….probally can’t do all four…remember Buehler needs to get paid also……

  2. Keep Turner Nolan is paid way to much. They need to keep their own free agents in the future.

  3. Turner on a 2yr $25 mill contract. Dh is likely so it makes sense. Give Rios a try and you’re set until Cody Hoese is ready in 2 yrs.

    • I think 2 years for 25-30mil with an option for a 3rd. Justin has meant everything to the Dodgers and the city of Los Angeles. On the flip side I remember Ron Oester, a 2nd baseman for Cincinnati in the ’80’s. When his contract was up he resigned with the Reds for a lesser amount because of his loyalty to the city of Cincinnati. Where have those people gone?

  4. Agree with all the comments. Turner on an incentive deal with a mutual option for a 2nd or 3rd year if he hits the incentives. If there is a DH which I hope there is as it helps talent-laden teams like the Dodgers. I think Rios is a solid player and he could become a big offensive contributor if he receives enough at-bats. They may fit Will Smith in a platoon there if they do not trade away a catcher. Ruiz is ready to come up and Barnes proved his worth last season and especially in the playoffs. The Dodgers have a young pitching staff and need a knowledgeable catcher. Smith has an outstanding average with RISP. Lots of pieces in this puzzle. Dodgers must bring up players to drop Payroll as they have Seager this year and Buehler, Bellinger coming up with Urias also ready for extensions. Look at the Cubs. If you spend big money on other players you can’t keep your core young players.

  5. As bad as this sounds, changes must come…
    1) we are looking for a right handed bat, none bigger than Nolan Arenado. And he provides the best defense possible, which is the gripe about Turner. Before we trade for Arenado, we restructure his contract so the opt out no longer exists because we can’t afford to lose the talent we surrender for him for simply 1 season.
    2) We let Turner walk as he deserves a better, longer deal than we will offer a man at 36 years old. He got his ring with us. That’s a story book ending in itself…
    3) Yes, Arenado won’t come cheap, but a lot of contracts up now (Turner, Hernandez, Trienan, Pederson, Báez) and bigger contracts are coming off the books after 2021 (Kershaw, Jansen).
    This leaves us with a lot of $ to play with. The reality is we can’t keep all our guys. We will let Seager walk because Boras will demand a lucrative Harper contract for him and the Dodgers don’t play that game. We can resign Bellinger as result. Kenley is gone with no issues. Kershaw will likely walk as financially he will not fit into the plans going forward because Buehler is a must sign and we have a plethora of young talent to cushion any blow that the absence of a Kershaw departure would bring… and by blow, I refer to an emotional one because Kershaw is not the super power he once was. He is a leader and like Turner deserves the best contract available which we won’t provide at this point.

    • Dodgers will not let Kershaw play with another team. Kershaw and the front office will come up with a contract that satisfies both. Justin Turner will be loved by LA fans but if he doesn’t take hometown discount, we’ll thank him for getting his last big payday if that’s with another team. The thing about JT is he was not a homegrown talent and Dodgers front office will try to take care of their homegrown players like Buehler, Bellinger, Seager, and Urias. If Dodgers to get Lindor or Arenado, that just means internally they don’t think they’ll re-sign Seager when his time comes up

    • If they can’t resign Seager they can’t resign Bellinger; both are represented by Boras as is Urias. Sooner or later Friedman is going to have deal with Boras or let all three walk.
      Seager may be the easier of three to resign given the number of outstanding SSs that will be FAs at the same time.

    • I don’t get how anyone who just watched the Dodgers win their first WS since 1988 would let Seager walk because he’s due a very large contract.

      Unless you were living under a rock, the Dodgers don’t win the WS without him and he’s finally healthy.

      If anyone is worth a ridiculous contract it would most definitely be Seager. Still only 26 years old. An 8 year deal pays him through age 36, unlike Betts deal that will pay him until age 40.

  6. The Turner offer terms could well depend on whether the Bationnal League employs theDH. Manfredi in his ( lack of) wisdom and foresight seems reluctant to push one way or the other. That decision affects not only Turner but several other free agents. The lack of a decision further hurts the players and teams. If the DH is a go it seems a no brainer to bring back Turner for 2 years and a third year option- the latter maybe. He is a resilient ball player who plays to win 100 percent of the time. If no DH then the offer may need a different type creativity

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you on the DH, It should be a no-brainer! I wonder if he is planning to use it for incentive in negotiations with the players union as it is known that the DH in the National League and an added player on the roster are things the Player’s Union have on their wish list?

  7. And with the cost for front line starting and relief pitching, it’s also a no brainer that teams would want to protect their investments next year and beyond, not just in this past 2020 season. If MLB wants to lean towards a bit more offense in the game. the DH in both leagues then is a good way to accomplish this. Keep in mind it helps further protect pitchers from unessesary injuries that now can be avoided.

  8. I’m not normally sentimental when it comes to players, but I really want to see JT stay. I would offer a 2 year deal for $24mil total. I would not offer 3 years unless it was contingent on JT playing basically full time in years 1 and 2.

  9. You have to figure the Dodgers plan to bring back Turner, I wonder if all the Arenado/Bryant “chatter” is their way of trying to keep Turner’s two-year price down. It does seem weird the DH hasn’t been enshrined yet, Must be part of the behind the scenes bargaining that we know is going on. The teams must want something in exchange (expanded playoffs?).

  10. Turner is the life blood for this team he is the glue so to speak give him a 3 yr contract with option

    • you obviously didn’t watch the world series. turner showed he can hang with the best fielders in the majors.

  11. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like there will be a DH in 2021. I’d sign JT to 2 years and $26m but make the 2nd year a mutual option.

  12. Come on MLB make a decision on the DH in National League one way or the other. Resign Turner for 2 years with a option for the 3rd year. He is the heart of this team . This is coming from a lifelong Dodger fan since the mid 50s.

  13. I think JT re-signs w/Dodgers. The needs for 2021 are bullpen, sign Brad Hand & Trienen, & trade for Josh Hader.
    Right handed bat could be Merrifield from the Royals or Tommy La Stella. Either one is great replacement for Kiké Hernández! If the Dodgers are able to keep Keibert Ruiz, let him play along with Will Smith & keep Barnes as a player/coach. He can help tutor Smith & Ruiz on their game & pitch calling, framing & overall defense behind the plate. I fear getting Hader will cost either Ruiz or Lux though. I just don’t see teams spending a lot of money for next season after this year’s Covid-19 season & the uncertainty on what attendance will be next season.

  14. Manfred can’t make a decision on the DH. He is trying to keep the game of baseball interesting and nothing is more interesting than seeing pitchers bat, or managers either holding back good hitters from the lineup to use as pinch hitters, or having hitters barely better than the pitchers pinch hit for them. It is also nice to have aging stars who could still be DH’s retire and go home instead of stay and bat for the pitchers.

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