Dodgers 2019 Roster: What Lies Ahead for Justin Turner?

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While we wait for the New Year’s ball and news from the Dodgers‘ front office to drop, we can continue to look ahead at who we know will be with the team for the 2019 season.

Friday, we discussed the return of Corey Seager and what he will mean to the team. I included a graphic from Steamer for FanGraphs that projected the WAR leaders in the NL for the upcoming season. Seager was number two, behind Kris Bryant. What was interesting to me was that Justin Turner was number five on the list.

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As we all know, Turner was robbed of a full season of play by being hit on his left wrist in a spring training game on March 19th. He returned mid-May, but wasn’t fully healthy until later in the season. In addition to the original wrist injury, he also had a 10-day DL stint at the end of July, and was hit on the wrist again in September.

His absence from the field meant a great re-shuffling of the Dodger position players, with everyone from Logan Forsythe to Max Muncy filling in the hot corner. Suffice it to say, Muncy will probably not be filling in again should heaven forbid Turner get hurt next season.

Turner is no doubt the heart and soul of the Dodgers lineup. It just responds differently, as do opposing pitchers when they have to face him in it. His return to the lineup sparked the turnaround that propelled the 16-26 Dodgers from 8.5 games back in the division to close to, if not the top.

In 103 games last season, Turner hit .312/.406/.518/.924 with 14 homers. In the playoffs, he shines with clutch hits. Interestingly, the NLDS is where he really show his stuff, with a .429/.532/.667/1.199 slash line over 5 appearances. The NLCS is where he homers, with four in three appearances. Last year in the World Series, he slashed .333/.385/.417/801. He now has the the third best on-base percentage in MLB Postseason history, behind Lou Gerhig and Babe Ruth. Even with the diminished playing time, Turner still turned up in the Top 10 on many voter’s MVP ballots.

Going into his age 34 season, Turner still has two years left on his four year contract. Steamer projects him to have a .286/.370/.475/ slash line with 23 homers and the aforementioned 5.0 WAR. I have no doubt Turner will be the driving force in the Dodgers lineup once again, the defacto captain of the team, and lead the Dodgers to their seventh divisional win and beyond.

 

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47 thoughts on “Dodgers 2019 Roster: What Lies Ahead for Justin Turner?

  1. I would love to see JT have an injury free year and play 130 to 140 games. I do not expect him in there everyday. I also think that he should be named captain, although the last captain was Davey Lopes. It is a baseball tradition that has faded away. But I always thought it was cool. Pee Wee will forever be remembered as the Captain.

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  2. 5 WAR? Hope so. If asked, I’d take the under. It would help to surround him with Seager and Harper.

    Captain? Nice title. Isn’t necessary. The way players change teams now it seems unlikely anyone will get that title.

    I wanted Yelich too Alex. We could’ve done it, but we had a glut of outfielders. Not a position of need. It would appear to be now. Cole also would have been a nice addition. But during the season our starters were first in WHIP and second only to Houston in ERA. Starting pitching was also not a position of need, though another starter would have come in handy in the World Series. And let’s not forget we were 8th in relief pitching and tied for 4th in blown saves this year. It showed in the World Series.

    I haven’t changed my opinion on what we need going forward. It’s been accentuated with trade of so much offense. We need to replace the oWAR we dumped and secure more better pitching. I’m still hopeful Friedman has a plan.

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    1. I think Turner will come close to his projected numbers. I was just wondering if anyone had seen projections on Muncy and Bellinger. Fast fact. The Dodgers lost a lot of offense when they traded Kemp and Puig, 44 HR’s over 140 ribbies. But they lost 37 HR’s and over 100 RBI’s when Machado and Grandal became free agents. Collectively they lost over 80 of their 235 homers. And so far nothing has been replaced. I have no doubt that Ol Andy has some ideas up his sleeve. Not that the average fan could ever figure out what he is doing. But no matter what happens over the next 50 days before the full squad arrives in Arizona. This team will look one hell of a lot different on offense. There is also a rumor floating around out there that says the Dodgers might be willing to bring Grandal back on a 1 year deal. Considering the state of the catching corps at this point, that does not really bother me. But I still would like to see what Austin Barnes could do on an everyday basis instead of bringing back one of the more frustrating players to watch.

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      1. I watched nearly every game and Barnes was as frustrating to watch as Grandal, maybe more so. They need to get the trade done to get Realmuto and then turn things over to Ruiz after that.

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      2. Glpeck, you can pretty much forget Realmuto my friend. The Dodgers are not going to pay Miami’s price. Reason? They want Bellinger. He is their starting point and go from there. That is the same reason the Astros have backed off because they do not want to trade their # 1 prospect, which is what Miami wants. I think he might be with them until at least midseason. Then a contender would be more likely to pony up. The Marlins at this point are loosing suitors not gaining them. Same reason Detroit is having trouble moving Castellanos. Price is way too high. Also, I believe that playing regularly would greatly benefit Barnes. He never got into a groove last year. But he was also playing less than he did in 2017.

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      3. OK Bear. Time to put my foot in my mouth for the first time in 2019. I predict that the Marlins will trade Realmuto before the season starts, although not necessarily to the Dodgers. They’re just keeping their ask high to see if anyone gets desperate enough to give them what they’re asking for. If not, as the season gets closer they’ll lower their demands. One way or the other they will trade him before the season, most likely before spring training. I have no idea to whom or for what.

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      4. They might well trade him before spring or before the season starts. But I also do not think he is coming to the Dodgers. I do not think Andrew is going to pony up what it is going to cost to get the guy.

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  3. Since the front office tends to plan their moves quite a ways into the future I wonder how they view the end of JT’s contract in two more years and the free agency of Arenado after next season. They could always try to sign Arenado and move JT to first, but I have no idea if that appeals to them. It appeals to me, I think. I’m sure if you asked JT today he would say he definitely plans to play beyond 2020. Would he want to stay here as a first baseman? Probably. Many of you might disagree, but to me JT is more important to this team than Kershaw and I’m not just speaking about today’s playing levels.

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    1. Well Jefe, I tend to agree with you about JT because position players affect every game. Kershaw only once every 5 days, and then only if he is healthy. I also have come to the conclusion that trying to figure out what Ol Andy is up to is like trying to put together a 1000 piece puzzle. It is not easy at all. I also believe, and this is just me gang, so don’t bite my head off. No matter what most people think of Colletti’s tenure as the Dodger GM, his teams were far more fun to watch than Andrew’s vision of the Dodgers. And Andy just traded his most interesting and exciting guy. Colletti’s print is still on the team in a lot of ways. Guys his scouting team signed still making considerable contributions. I wish all here a Very Happy New Year. I hope it is filled with nothing but good things. For Scoop, I hope your move goes ever so smoothly. For Jefe, may all of your Dodger wishes be granted, and for myself, I wish continued good health and no reason to lose my temper and ,,,,well, lets leave it at that…….by the way, It is snowing like crazy here today and colder than you know what.

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      1. And a very happy and healthy New Year to you Bear, as well as all the others who read and post here. With regard to not being able to figure out what Andrew is up to, that’s what I’m here for. 🙂 Without our little back and forth about Friedman’s doing something this week, you might have never even noticed that we signed Peterson. Is Scoop moving away from Sedona? Who would want to do that?

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  4. Scoop and I email each other once in a while. I think he is moving back to OC. At least that seemed to be the plan. You would have to ask him why, but I think it probably has something to do with family. I saw the Peterson signing on twitter. With out our banter, I probably would not have even seen that. Twitter is a hot bed of info. Usually wrong. But I trust things posted by guys like Rosenthal, and some of the other writers.

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  5. By the way Jeff, if you want to watch something totally funny, watch Dunham’s Christmas dvd from a few years ago. It is hilarious. He does a bit with Achmed singing a song called Jingle Bombs. Cracks me up every single time I watch it.

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  6. We are considering a move. House not listed yet. Until it is, we be here. And it’s snowing in Sedona too Bear. Got around 5-6”. Should melt by Wednesday.

    I too agree with you guys about Turner but with each passing year we get closer to the inevitable. Chase Utley had his last 4 WAR year at age 34. Turner is now 34. Arenado will be 28 in April. The windows on Turner and Kershaw are closing.

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  7. I think Turner will remain a productive hitter for several more seasons even if his power wanes a bit he still hits for a nice average. He is a team player and local boy so I think if they asked him to move to 1B in order to bring a star like Arenado in he wouldn’t blink. He still plays a remarkable 3B but he has knee and back issues that moving to 1B would probably extend his career a couple years.

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  8. If we could somehow get Kluber while keeping Verdugo and adding LeMahieu and one more bullpen arm like Robertson then I would be just fine starting Verdugo in RF and Barnes at C next year.

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  9. I think Kluber might take something similar to what the Phillies got for Hamels. That would mean Verdugo and two more. We could do it but I don’t see it. Not from Friedman. He’s already signed Kelly (and Quackenbush!) so I think that’s probably it for the bullpen. Hard to know what is on his mind but as I’ve said already, to trade away, and let go, of what he did without a replacement plan makes no sense. He’s getting somebody of note, I just know it.

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    1. I read that he was getting ready to go there. Pretty fitting considering the legacy of Ichiro that is with that franchise. I was pretty sure he was not going to sign in LA…

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  10. Hey everybody, haven’t been paying to much attention, got my eldest daughter married off yesterday, lots of fun. Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody be safe, we have a lot of dodger stuff to talk about in the coming year.

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    1. Just so you know Keith, Kluber’s name has not been hot news for close to a week and it seems at this point he is not on the market. That being said, There is more buzz that the Dodgers have steered away from both he and Realmuto since the asking price is so high. Friedman has never shied from trading prospects. But he tends to keep the ones the team really believes in. Miami keeps insisting that Bellinger be part of any trade for Realmuto, and that is not happening. Rumors abuzz that the Dodgers are willing to bring back Grandal, but only on a 1 year deal. Since the moron turned down a 4 year 60 million dollar contract with the Mets, he may be forced to take 1 year from the highest bidder. I am hoping it is not the Dodgers. Happy New Year to you too. Things should heat up later this week. By the end of the month we should have some better idea of what the roster will look like in spring. Friedman waited until almost spring to fill out the roster last year. And remember, there are only 3 roster spots open, so anything really big will involve a trade, not a signing.

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      1. Andrew definitely seems to be playing chicken with the Marlins and possibly the Indians if they are even considering moving Kluber/Bauer at this point. I would love to see Realmuto or one of the Indians guys here but I have every confidence that Friedman won’t do something stupid to get them. If that means we do without, so be it. So that probably leaves Harper, Pollock, Castellanos, LeMahieu, Lowrie, Dozier and a secondary catcher as pieces we might still add. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone who has been mentioned and of course there could be someone we haven’t even talked about. Once Machado makes his decision, that will lead to Harper and all hell will break loose with everyone else.

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    2. Congrats Keith on your daughter’s wedding. I guess that’s what you say to someone who probably spent a fortune on a party. Luckily my daughters have been married for awhile so I didn’t take a financial hit in 2018. Happy New Year to you and let’s hope this is finally THE YEAR for our guys.

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  11. Well El Jefe, ya blew it. Ol Andy did not oblige you and make a major signing or a trade…..sorry ol chap, but that’s the way the crumpet crumbles so to speak. I am seriously reconsidering the prediction skills that you supposedly have…..Happy New Year, and many more.

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    1. Happy New Year to you Bear. Always good to have someone to discuss the Blue with. Here’s our first disagreement of 2019. If you go back and check, you’ll see that I made no mention of how big or small the move would be so technically the Peterson signing makes me correct. That said, I am willing to say I was wrong in the spirit of the New Year because none of us had ever heard of the guy. One last stipulation, if he makes the 25 man for even one day this year, you will have to agree that I was, in fact, correct on my prediction. I think you’re very safe. With regard to my prediction skills in general, I definitely predicted that you wouldn’t think they were very good.

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      1. Uh, I will become the new GM of the Dodgers before Peterson plays with the varsity. AAA fodder…..although he might get lucky, but I doubt it.

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      2. Humor me here Bear. AF gets so tired of your complaining that he resigns this afternoon and Kasten decides to name you as his replacement. What’s your very first move (signing, trade, whatever)? The one advantage that you’ll have over Friedman is that you won’t have you complaining about your moves all the time. Anyway, what’s your first move?

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      3. I would say I would see if the Yankees wanted to trade Stanton to LA. As long as the price was reasonable, prospect and MLB players wise, I think he would be a better choice than Harper. Fixes the RH power and RF problem in one fell swoop. LA boy who has very decent numbers at Dodger Stadium. Helps the Yankees out because their OF is pretty crowded. Frees up some payroll for them. Harper’s number’s at Dodger Stadium are abysmal. We could even make it a multi team deal with LA getting a catcher from say the Pirates. Do not want to get to complicated. I would sign DJ LeMahieu to a 3 year deal, about 28 mil should get it done.

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      4. I keep thinking about Stanton also. If my numbers are correct he has 9 years left plus a team option for year 10 which will never be exercised. He has an opt out after 2020 which he will never exercise. The year 10 option has a 10 mil buyout so altogether he would be a 270 mil commitment less 30 mil from the Marlins when he doesn’t opt out after 2020. That works out to about 26.7 mil per year, substantially less than Harper will cost (per year) although maybe for more years. My only concern is that Stanton’s contract takes him through age 37 and guys with his body type tend to do downhill pretty quickly after their early 30’s.

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      5. Very true, but he could be traded to an AL team to be a designated hitter in a few years if the Dodgers take on a little of his salary. As long as he does not reach the 10-5 mark, they can do what they like with him. He is a much better fit than Harper, who is a natural for Yankee Stadium with it’s short porch.

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      6. I think Stanton has a full no trade so 10-5 wouldn’t mean anything (or did that no trade evaporate when he agreed to go to the Yanks?). The trade makes sense from both sides, as you’ve detailed, which is probably why it won’t happen. Since the Yanks would wind up adding at least 10 mil/per year if subbing Harper for Stanton, the whole scenario might be dependent upon whether they sign Machado. The extra for Harper piled on top of Machado’s high AAV might be too much even for NY.

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  12. Had a very quiet New Years eve. Watched the snow fall. My truck is totally covered. Would have to break out my scraper to be able to see out the windows. The Rose Parade will be on in about 45 minutes and I am going to watch it for the first time in about 30 years. I read that Kike is in the parade. Hope everyone had a great one.

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    1. I’ll be out shoveling a few inches in a while. Waiting for the sun to get up a bit. 38 for a high today.

      Not surprised by the Kikuchi signing. Good fit up there.

      New Year’s means little to me anymore. Just another winter night but this one has the Rose Bowl game the following afternoon. PAC 12 was rebounding until Utah gave it away last night.

      May ‘19 be less ridiculous for all of us.

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  13. Another reason to sign Stanton is his family connection to Puerto Rico. Having traded their most popular Latin player, the Dodgers need someone to replace him. Someone with star power. Kike is good, but he is no Puig, and the present ownership did that before when they brought Adrian Gonzalez to LA. The Hispanic fan base in Los Angeles is huge. They need their own hero. Harper is just another white boy with a bad attitude. He is perfect for Yankee Stadium and that short RF porch. Stanton may not be all Hispanic, but he has close ties with his family in Puerto Rico. They could trade Hill and a couple others to the Yanks and get a little help salary wise. I do not believe that next year, when Arenado becomes a free agent, that there is much of a chance they can sign him. I think Colorado, which has few star power players as it is, are going to let the face of the franchise walk all that easily.

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    1. I know we’ve been discussing Hill as part of a Stanton trade but I’m not sure how anxious I would be to do that if we don’t get Kluber/Bauer. We’re expecting Urias around mid season but that isn’t a given. CK, Buehler, Ryu, Maeda, Stripling doesn’t instill huge confidence in me. It’s decent but not spectacular. Of course, we don’t really know how Hill will do next year either. I really hope AF finds a way to get Kluber without giving up Verdugo, Ruiz or Lux. If we don’t trade any of our young starters this year we could choose from Urias, Ferguson, Santana, May, White and Gonsolin in 2020 to supplement the current group, but I’m sure one or more would go if we get Realmuto, Kluber or Castellanos. As far as LeMahieu is concerned, no way I would give him more than 2 years. I think most GM’s probably agree or he would have been signed by now.

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      1. I think he will either trade for or sign another starter. maybe more. Who knows. There are a lot of low risk high reward arms out there. And that is Andy’s stock in trade. I believe, am not certain, that Stanton’s no trade rights went away after he was traded. He still would love to play in LA. I think the FA logjam begins unjamming sometime next week. Washington gets hammered in the Rose Bowl…..Pac-12 loses another.

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    2. I understand the Hispanic angle Bear. That’s why we should sign Brycé Harperías and trade for Realmuto and Kluberlibra.

      Yeah, I know. Those need some work too.

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    1. Well it is what old retired guys do. Sit around and talk baseball and think of puns that really make other people want to cry.

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  14. Now that would be a contest, the best picture of kluber with fangs and pointy ears, throwing a blazing fireball to home plate, with the heading “ el klupacabra “ we copywrite it put it on t- shirts, and make a million dollars for TBPC. Now all we need is Andrew to pull the trigger. Come on Andy your standing between us and millions of dollars.

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    1. He regressed, that is true. But he projects, with only 345 PA’s, at .241/.346/.376 for a .722 OPS. I think he will be better but no matter how you look at it those are #8 in the order numbers and…. we need another catcher. Somebody has to be there for those 290 or so extra plate appearances. What’s the plan ‘drew.

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