The Los Angeles Dodgers have re-signed Justin Turner, preventing the third baseman from joining a new team in free agency. Turner announced his return via Twitter on Saturday. The two-year contract will earn Turner more than $30 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal is reporting the deal is worth $34 million with a club option for a third year and an $8 million signing bonus.
There was some uncertainty around his return given the Dodgers competitive balance tax penalties. However, the front office had said they were going to work hard to retain Turner. They finally got a deal done.
Turner batted a team-high .307 last season with 46 hits, 23 RBIs, and 4 home runs. His OBP (.400) was second to only Will Smith. Turner could prove to be a key asset for the reigning champs, as he became the first player in franchise history to win the Roy Campanella Award, which is given to exemplary leaders, three times.
Justin Turner came up in the Reds system before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles, where he played 17 games. He has also spent time with the Mets before his seven-year stint with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers were in “need” of a third baseman, despite being a huge favorite to win the National League, because it was the last position without a bonafide star player. Returning Turner might move their projected PECOTA of 103 wins even higher.