Moments after we published a story on Saturday surrounding the Dodgers’ payroll for the upcoming season and the prospects of Justin Turner re-signing, news broke that the veteran third baseman has finally reached a deal to return to Los Angeles on a two-year contract.
Shortly before reporters began tweeting the news, Turner himself made his own announcement through several social media platforms.
Jeff Passan of ESPN indicated initially that the deal is worth more than $30 million.
Later reports by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reveal that Turner’s contract is worth $34 million with a club option for a third season. The deal also includes an $8 million signing bonus.
Rosenthal also noted that Turner’s deal is the “largest guarantee for a free-agent position player 36 or older in first year of deal since Victor Martinez’s four-year, $68 million contract with Tigers in 2014.”
Originally selected by the Reds in the seventh round of the 2006 draft out of Cal-Fullerton, the righty-hitting Turner spent limited big-league time with the Orioles and Mets before signing with the Dodgers on a minors deal in 2014.
During his first year wearing Blue, he hit a monstrous .340/.404/.493 in 109 games, opening the door for him to become the team’s everyday third baseman.
In 2017, he was named to his first All-Star squad, finishing the season with a .322/.415/.530 slash line alongside 21 homers, 32 doubles and 71 RBI.
At the peak of his game, there are very few third baseman with finer hands and a better arm.
From his performance on the diamond to being a leader in the clubhouse to his off-field charity work, not many MLB players are more complete than Turner.
The 5-foot-11, 202-pound native of Long Beach became a free agent when his four-year, $64 million contract expired at the end of last year.
Against the Rays in the 2020 World Series, he went 8-for-25 with four doubles and two long balls.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Turner ranks first in Dodgers postseason history with 79 hits, 12 home runs, 40 runs scored, and 41 RBI.
With the addition of Turner’s contract, the estimated Luxury Tax payroll now stands at approximately $257 million, elevating the Dodgers into the highest possible tax bracket for penalties.