The Los Angeles Dodgers have done a pretty good job keeping their own free agents this offseason. They first re-signed starting pitcher Rich Hill to a three-year deal. Then, earlier today, they got closer Kenley Jansen to return for five years. Now, it seems their starting third baseman will remain in Dodger blue as well. According to multiple reports, Justin Turner will sign a four-year, $64 million deal with Los Angeles. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Joel Sherman of the New York Post broke the news first.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2016
Justin Turner Re-signs with Dodgers
The 34-year-old Turner began his major league career with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009, but never found a true role there. After joining the New York Mets during the 2010 season, Turner began to see more playing time. However, injuries limited him to fewer than 95 games in two of his three full seasons in the Big Apple, and the Mets allowed him to leave town in 2013.
As soon as he arrived in Chavez Ravine, something clicked. Maybe it was the California sun, maybe it was the change of scenery, or maybe it was just a new dedication to the craft and some help from new coaches. Whatever the cause, the results were immediate and wildly apparent. In his first season with the Dodgers, Turner set career-highs in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.404), and slugging percentage (.493). He knocked 21 doubles and seven home runs to boot. The next year, his [ercentages fell slightly, but he still hit .294 and added more doubles (26) and more homers (16).
Despite his offensive renaissance, Turner still had issues staying on the field. He saw action in 109 and 126 games in 2014 and 2015, respectively. That final piece of the puzzle fell into place for him in 2016. In 151 games, Turner hit .275 with 27 dingers, 34 doubles, and 90 RBI. For his efforts, he got a well-deserved All-Star nod and, as of today, a fat new contract.
The Dodgers were expected to cut payroll and spending this offseason to reduce their debt and get closer to the luxury tax limit. After looking at the deals they’ve given to Hill, Jansen, and Turner, that may not be the priority for them that some people believed it was.