(Photo Credit: mlb.com)
After having reached an informal agreement well over a week ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally announced the signing of free agent third baseman Justin Turner to a four-year contract on Friday afternoon.
Turner, 32, is coming off a career year, where he batted .275 and posted career-highs with 79 runs, 153 hits, 48 walks, 34 doubles, three triples, 27 home runs, 90 RBI and 151 games played. Turner finished ninth in the National League Most Valuable Player voting, and was a nominee for the Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award for his community involvement, along with being a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, ranking third among NL third basemen with seven defensive runs saved according to FanGraphs.
“I’m excited to return to the Dodgers for another four years,” Turner said. “Playing in Los Angeles has been special for me, and I want to continue to represent and give back to this community and bring our fans the championship they deserve.”
“We are extremely happy to announce that Justin Turner will remain a Dodger for years to come. JT has been, and will continue to be, a vital part of the Dodgers on the field, in the clubhouse and in the community,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “His talent, work ethic, leadership and instincts for the game embodies a lot of what we look for in a Dodger player.”
Turner originally signed with the Dodgers in 2014, and has batted .296 with 81 doubles, 50 home runs and 193 RBI in 386 regular-season games in three seasons with the club. During his time with Los Angeles, Turner ranks among the National League leaders with a .296 batting average, a .364 on-base percentage and a .492 slugging percentage, while hitting .345 with runners in scoring position — the second best mark among National League qualifiers. In 18 postseason games with the Dodgers, he has posted a .357/.471/.607 slash line, going 20-for-56 with six doubles, a triple, two home runs and 12 RBI.
The Southern California native and Mayfair High School product has a .282 career batting average with 58 home runs and 282 RBI in eight big-league seasons with three different teams — the Orioles, Mets and Dodgers — after being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Fullerton.
As specified by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Turner’s contract is backloaded in nature, as the infielder will reportedly be paid $12 million in 2017, $11 million in 2018, $18 million in 2019 and $19 million in 2020, in addition to receiving an initial signing bonus of $4 million.
After officially signing Turner, the Dodgers have 40 players on their 40-man roster.
(Jon Chapper provided the majority of information furnished in this report)