Updates on Justin Turner, Estimated 2021 Luxury Tax Payroll

(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

With only a handful of days remaining before players start filing into the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, there’s mainly one thing on the minds of Dodgers fans—whether the team will re-sign veteran third baseman Justin Turner.

Before Los Angeles caused shockwaves across the baseball blogosphere when signing Trevor Bauer to a monumental deal last week, those same fans wondered if the team would surpass the 2021 Luxury Tax Threshold to land Turner. Now, the big question is how much the team will go over.

According to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, Turner has multi-year offers from the Dodgers and the Brewers. The Mets, Blue Jays and Braves are also rumored to have shown interest.

As far as the Brewers go, lefty-hitting Eric Sogard and righty-hitting Luis Urias spent time at third base in 2020. Sogard slashed a mere .209/.281/.278 with one homer in 41 games, while Urias hit .239/.308/.294 with no homers, also appearing in 41 games. Both Sogard and Urias can play all around the infield.

On the other hand, Turner hit .307/.400/.460 with four homers in 42 games.

It’s easy to see why the Brewers want to land JT, at least from a simple offensive perspective.

Nevertheless, it’s tough to imagine another team, especially a National League club with no designated hitter needs, offering JT more than two years. The last we heard, Los Angeles felt comfortable giving the 36-year-old vet two years, but the Turner camp was insistent upon a deal closer to four years.

Still, one can only guess how far the organization is prepared to blow past the Luxury Tax Threshold to make any additional moves. On Friday, Los Angeles traded lefty reliever Adam Kolarek to Oakland and righty reliever Dylan Floro to Miami, saving the team an approximate $1.5 million in Luxury Tax payroll.

As of the time of this writing, the Dodgers are currently estimated to have a $240,500,824 team payroll according to a worksheet at Fangraphs.

If a team exceeds the $210 million threshold, it is subject to a 20 percent tax on all overages. Should a team surpass the threshold by $20 million to $40 million, it is subject to an additional 12 percent surtax, which is where the Dodgers currently sit.

The highest tax bracket occurs when a team exceeds the threshold by more than $40 million, which is where Los Angeles might be if a deal with Turner is reached.

According to our friend Tim Dierkes at MLBTR, Turner is estimated at securing a deal worth two years and $24 million. That would put the Dodgers’ 2021 payroll at more than $252 million.

One interesting statement that came from front-office boss Andrew Friedman at the Bauer presser on Thursday was that the organization doesn’t necessarily consider team payroll on a year-by-year basis.

“We run our payroll looking at over three, four, five years, not in any one moment of time,” Friedman said. “So past moves have created flexibility, things that happen in the future will. For us, it’s about doing everything we can to go out and defend a title.”

Still, it’s hard to tell what the future might hold regarding team revenue without the amount of prospective fan attendance being undetermined for the upcoming regular season. On Friday, we learned that up to 2400 people will be permitted to watch games during Cactus League play, but it’s still not known what may happen at Dodger Stadium.

In the meantime, it’s safe to say that the Dodgers will definitely pay some sort of Luxury Tax penalty in 2021.

Whatever the case may be, it’s tough for anybody to argue that Friedman and his troops aren’t doing “everything they can to go out and [valiantly] defend a title.”

16 thoughts on “Updates on Justin Turner, Estimated 2021 Luxury Tax Payroll

  1. JT may yet wind up with his four year deal but only to stretch out the AAV. Once they agree on the total dollar amount they can tack on an extra year or two to bring down the average value.
    I don’t think Andrew will put himself in a position where he loses that draft pick as part of a penalty.

  2. Just announced by Turner on Twitter and MLBTR, he is resigning with the Dodgers. Length of contract and terms not yet known. LA will have to clear a roster spot before it is official.

  3. Turner on Twitter just posted “LA Let’s Run it Back” Imagine that means he is re-signing with the Dodgers. I don’t believe anyone familiar with Baseball believes the Competetive Balance Tax will stay the same or even be in existence after the next Labor agreement next year. So it’s one year of penalty.
    Wow, the Dodgers are packed this will be fun to watch. Re-purchased my Xfinity MLB subscription. Go Blue!

    1. I will do the same with my MLB subscription since I live out of state. Single team costs me less than the full package, and I never watch the other teams anyway. Lineup will be loaded, DH or no DH. Veterans and some very talented kids, a deep bench and farm system, and a pitching staff that is scary good. It was also posted on MLBTR. Welcome home Redturn.

      1. Wish we could trade I get Rockie games blacked out for some stupid reason. But get Snakes on the local AZ Sports network. Only watch them when they are playing the Dodgers and MLB is blacked out.

      2. I have to watch LA-Colo on Altitude Sports. All Rocks games here are blacked out. Worse part of that is I have to listen to the Rockies announcers. That is totally painful. You are far enough away down there that the LA Rockies games would not be blacked out. I live 123 miles from Denver, so I am screwed.

  4. Lost Wood, McGee, Baez, Hernandez, Pedersen traded Floro and Kolarek re-signed Treinen and Turner. Gained Price & Alexander. Signed Bauer and Knebel and to minor league signed Morrow and Stewart to name a couple. I would say the Dodgers are stronger than last year especially as they gain Price and Bauer two Cy Young pitchers plus add Knebel. Graterol, Gonzalez, May, and Gonsolin have more experience along with Smith and Rios. I do not believe Mincy and Bellinger will have off years again and I think Lux proves why he was such a hot prospect. Dodgers should be stronger. Even with Padres stronger and Giants marginally better, I predict the Dodgers win 104-106 games. The starting pitching and bullpen are possibly the best they have had in overall talent.

    1. The resigned Nelson, and I think if that guy is healthy, he is a monster. Relatively few position players signed as of yet, only Asuaje and a couple of others that I know. They also signed lefty James Pazos. He could be another sleeper candidate. Has some nasty stuff. Now they have to move a player from the 40 man before it is official. Two candidates come to mind, Santana and Raley.

  5. Hey Dennis, got some cool baseball cards this week. The 1989 TCMA set of the Albuquerque Dukes. Martinez and Sharperson are in that set along with Gwynn Jr, Today I got a Sandy Koufax card that shows him hitting. I had never seen one of those before.

  6. Glad to have JT back, especially glad to have third base settled. I’m okay with second base being a little up in the air, about who is the starter, Lux, Taylor, McKinstry, who ever, but I was real nervous about going into the season with second, and third base being unsettled.

    I think most Dodger fans would count this as a good off season, we lost a few guys we all loved, but gained some new guys. I’m as excited to see this group this season as I have been any other team, in a long time. This team is built to go deep in the playoffs, bring on the Padres and the rest of the NL.
    Go Dodgers.

  7. The team seems pretty well set for the beginning of the season, I’m surprised that Ruiz wasn’t part of an off season trade.

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