Dodger fans remain hopeful for Justin Turner re-signing

It is without question the single biggest cause of anxiety among Dodger fans this off-season (except for Clayton Kershaw‘s back): Will the Dodgers re-sign free agent third baseman Justin Turner? And though the same might be said for Dodgers free agent closer Kenley Jansen, it appears that his ship may have already sailed.

But on Monday afternoon, noted baseball writer Jon Heyman gave Dodger fans a glimmer of hope – albeit slight – that the extremely popular 32-year-old Long Beach native might actually end up back with the Dodgers in 2017 … and beyond.

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It’s hard – if not impossible – to argue that Turner isn’t the best available free agent third baseman this off-season. In addition to his .275 / .339 / .493 / .832 offensive slash-line and his team-high 27 home runs (tied with Yasmani Grandal) and his team-high 90 RBIs (tied with Adrian Gonzalez), Turner was the Gold Glove runner-up to Colorado Rockies perennial Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Turner is unquestionably the best Dodgers third baseman since they lost Adrian Beltre to free agency after the 2004 season ... and we ALL know how that one turned out. (Video Capture courtesy of SportsNet LA)

Turner is unquestionably the best Dodgers third baseman since they lost Adrian Beltre to free agency after the 2004 season … and we ALL know how that one turned out.
(Video Capture courtesy of SportsNet LA)

So what’s the hang-up in re-signing Turner, which should be a no-brainer?

Brace yourselves. It’s all about the money (and the length of contract) that Turner is seeking and will undoubtedly get … from someone.

It is believed that in spite of Turner’s desire to remain with the Dodgers and the Dodgers’ desire to keep him, he will undoubtedly be seeking a multi-year deal north of the six-year / $100 million deal that Tampa Bay Rays All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria signed in 2012 which doesn’t even go into effect until this coming season and includes a club option for 2023. That’s an AAV of $16.66 million which, when you think about it, may end up being an absolute steal for the Rays when the contract expires after the 2022 season. Keep in mind that Turner recently rejected the Dodgers $17.2 million qualifying offer. And while it may be a bit of a reach that the popular redhead will land a deal that carries an AAV of $17.2 million, chances are very good that he won’t miss that mark by much.

On Monday afternoon at the end of Day-1 of the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters that this year’s Winter Meeting may be “quieter than most” for the Dodgers; this as a result of new luxury taxes imposed by the just-approved (but not yet ratified) Collective Bargaining Agreement between the MLB and the MLB Players Association. That being said and because of the Dodgers lack depth at the hot corner in their minor league system, they will have to do something if they do not re-sign Turner.

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As for Kenley Jansen, as of this writing he is still unsigned as a free agent. However, on Monday the San Francisco Giants agreed to terms with fellow free agent closer Mark Melancon to the tune of $62 million over four years. And while an AAV of $15.5 million might seem a bit steep for a closer, Melancon is (was) considered to be the second-most sought-after free agent closer behind Jansen. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out what it would cost the Dodgers to re-sign their franchise record-holding closer – a position that many teams are in serious need of. Some have even suggested that Jansen may become baseball’s first-ever $20 million a year closer, although this seems a bit high – for the time being, that is. Jansen also declined the Dodgers $17.2 million qualifying offer late last month.

Regardless and in spite of Friedman’s proclamation of quietness this week, there is every indication that the next three days will be anything but.

Stay tuned…

 

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8 Responses to “Dodger fans remain hopeful for Justin Turner re-signing”

  1. oldbrooklynfan says:

    It would be good to see the Dodgers shell out one last time for either Turner or Jansen or even both.

  2. SoCalBum says:

    Numbers and years being kicked around by baseball analysts are staggering and if close to being accurate I don’t see a snowball’s chance of Jansen returning and between slim and none for Turner. IF Dodgers can acquire Dozier I think they pass on Turner and trade for someone like Frazier or even Chase Headley.

    • Bluenose Dodger says:

      I would not be surprised to see Turner signed but not surprised to see Jansen sign elsewhere.

      • Ron Cervenka says:

        I’d be willing to bet money on that one Harold. Could be a great opportunity for Joe Broussard. 😉

      • Evan Bladh says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised by that either Harold. If the Dodgers let Jansen walk and then they sign Chapman, they get that premium closer they seek PLUS a sandwich pick between the 1st and second round. I hate losing Kenley, but an additional pick plus Mr. 105MPH seems mighty tempting.

        • Ron Cervenka says:

          I think the Dodgers have a better shot at re-signing Jansen than they do at signing Chapman. He’s going to want WAAAY too much in money and years.

  3. Respect the Rivalry says:

    JT has to stay. If he leaves who’s gonna be doing selfies with Gonzo?

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