Today In Dodgers History: Justin Turner Signs With Dodgers

Justin Turner

Although Justin Turner was coming off of the best season of his career in 2013, he was non-tendered by the New York Mets and became a free agent. The Los Angeles Dodgers pounced on the utility man, signing him to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training on Feb. 6, 2014.

After making his way onto the 25-man roster during Spring Training, Turner was expected to take on the role of a pinch-hitter and reserve infielder. He struggled for the first two months of the season and ended the month of May with a .250 batting average.

However, the month of June came with an improved Turner. On June 1, he went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Although it came in a 5-3 losing effort, this was just a glimpse of what Turner would do in the months to come. He finished June with a .400/.468/.545 slash, which raised his season batting average from .300 to .325 by the end of August.

By Sept. 23 the Dodgers had clinched a playoff spot, but the division title was still up for grabs as the San Francisco Giants were only 4.5 games behind. Turner, after leading off the bottom of the first inning with a home run against Madison Bumgarner, hit another in the eighth inning, and finished 2-for-4 with the two home runs and two RBIs.

The Dodgers went on to win the game 4-2 and clinch the National League West Division. After ending the season batting a career-best .340/.404/.493, the Dodgers signed Turner to a one-year, $2.5 million contract in January to avoid arbitration.

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