Dodgers News and Notes: Updates on DH, Justin Turner and Nelson Cruz

Welcome to February, Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Baseball returns this month! We think.

Over the past few days, Major League Baseball and the Players’ Union have been discussing what the 2021 season will look like.

MLB sent a proposal to the Players’ Union on Friday which included plans for a 154-game regular season, but with full pay for players. The start to the season would be delayed by a month, with play to begin on April 28. The playoffs would then extend into November. The plan also included plans to have the universal DH.

The Players’ Union formally rejected MLB’s proposal leaving some ambiguity about the timing of the start of the season, and whether or not the National League will have a designated hitter.

Waiting until the last minute is not new for MLB and the Players’ Union. Last season, an agreement was reached just hours before the start of the season.

Of course, last season was unlike any other we’ve ever seen. One would think that MLB and the Players’ Union had all winter to work things out, for teams to be able to know how they will construct their lineups. As everything sits right now, there will be no DH in the National League, and the Dodgers will have pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch by February 17.

Dodgers fans are also still awaiting to see who might be the starting third baseman for the team. There is nothing new on the Justin Turner front, just the same old verbiage of “both parties want to reunite but are far apart on years.” Other teams have been checking in with Turner, including the Braves. If the Braves, or any other team for that matter, are willing to give JT an extra year, we may never see the defacto team captain in Dodger Blue again.

A new name has surfaced on the Dodgers rumor front. Reportedly, Nelson Cruz is interested in joining the Dodgers if the DH does indeed come to the National League. The 40-year-old right fielder and DH has been playing in the major leagues since 2005. Still, last season he hit 16 homers and posted a .303 batting average. He hit 41 home runs in 2019 while with the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers used the DH to rest their regular players some last year, changing almost every game, and didn’t utilize it like most American League teams do, having a regular designated hitter. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t change their philosophy for a season.

Cruz would be the power right-handed bat that the Dodgers were looking for, especially if they don’t re-sign Turner. If they have Edwin Rios take over third base duties, they’d be able to slot Cruz in the top half of the lineup, essentially replacing Turner’s bat.

We will continue to wait and see what happens. While other teams are making big moves, we just need to remind ourselves that the Dodgers don’t need to make any big moves, but adding some certainty to what the roster will look like would sure calm some fans’ worries.

8 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes: Updates on DH, Justin Turner and Nelson Cruz

  1. IF the league could actually decide to have a DH in 2021 within a fairly short period of time, and IF we could sign both JT and Cruz, that would be far more preferable to me than using the money for Bauer.

    MLB, more than ever, needs a strong commissioner who won’t just bow to the wishes of the owners because they pay his salary. We need someone who will work for the good of the game and force both sides to come together in some sort of compromise. One thing we know, the fans are getting sick and tired of the unwillingness of both sides to reach a compromise they can both live with.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The players let themselves get hosed in the last contract, because of that I think they are taking a hard line when it comes to negotiating. The Owners never put the game first, it’s always about themselves, so I’m not expecting any good faith negotiations, or anybody trying to do the right thing.

    I’m not expecting a DH in the NL, or expanded playoffs for this season. Whatever the owners have the right to change without MLPA approval, are the only changes that may happen. IMO

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    1. The owners and the players do not trust each other. The Reality of the pandemic and the money lost last season will make everyone come to the table. AZ and FL want to delay Spring Training. AZ & FL have counties that have spent a lot of money in stadiums and other support of the games for the revenue of fans coming to see Spring Baseball. I am a season ticket holder at Camelback and also routinely watch the Angels. I live in Tucson so I get a hotel room or stay with friends in their RV’s/ A lot of us are not going to spend money or attend until we can get vaccinated and feel relatively safe. That is what helps pay for the player’s salaries. That is the reality even if the players do not want to acknowledge it. There will be a delay to Spring Baseball. The NL will have the DH and there will be an extended playoff.
      I think the Dodgers will sign Turner and that is about it unless they make a big trade which is what I am expecting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If Turner goes somewhere else, I think a trade is definitely on the table. And with Arenado now a Cardinal, which is not playing well here in Colorado I can tell you that, Bryant in Chicago becomes a one year fix. No way Cruz comes to LA unless they agree on the universal DH. There has been a bunch of chatter on Twitter about Marcell Osuna, and I think that is just what it is. Talk. Callaway is a goner. Angels will end up firing him. They really have no choice. Allegations like that simply will not go away.

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  3. My bad! I thought the Players would get a clue and either take the deal or make a counter-proposal. Spring Ball will be without me as vaccinations in AZ are at a crawl and we cannot get enough vaccine according to the Idiot Governor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you my friend!! Stay safe!
      Daughters are both nurses they say second shot side effects can be a little more involved as your system is fighting the shot. They still wear masks as not sure of efficacy against variants and you can spread the virus for a few days if infected before it dies. They are now seeing people coming in with side effects from initial virus months later..

      Liked by 1 person

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