When the Dodgers declined Justin Turner’s option at the beginning of the offseason, nearly everyone — including Turner — thought he’d be back on a different deal. But the way the offseason played out, JT ended up signing with the Red Sox, which became official on Friday.
Also on Friday, Los Angeles utility man Chris Taylor sat down with our own Doug McKain to talk about a variety of topics, including the charity golf event Taylor’s CT3 Foundation is holding next week. (If you’re in the area, you should definitely go. It’s a cool event and supports Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.)
Among the topics Doug and CT3 discussed was the void left in the Dodgers clubhouse by JT’s departure.
“Obviously losing a couple guys, especially JT, he was sort of always our vocal leader. So it’ll be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out. I know we brought in a couple guys. We brought in J.D. Martinez and J-Hey [Jason Heyward]. Those guys are well respected throughout the league and everything I’ve heard about them is, everybody looks up to them and it’ll be great to have those guys in the clubhouse.
“For me, I’ve always been more of a lead by example. I think most people know I’m not the most vocal guy. But I like to think that I do things the right way and I prepare the right way and hopefully that can rub off on some of the younger guys. And I’d like to think that they respect the way I go about my business.”
Hearing Taylor mention Heyward is interesting; even though he signed a minor-league contract, Heyward has been working out at Dodger Stadium, has a locker there, and has already chosen his new uniform number. There are a lot of indications that Heyward will be given every opportunity to earn a spot on the team, and his leadership qualities have to be at least part of the reason.
Taylor also mentions Martinez, who has been praised throughout his career for his leadership skills and already has a close relationship with another L.A. leader, Mookie Betts.
The Dodgers will definitely miss Justin Turner, and you can’t just replace what he brought to the clubhouse. But at least it appears they’re keeping that leadership in mind as they build their 2023 roster.
Chris is on the media trail promoting his upcoming “Driving For Hope” golf event at TopGolf in El Segundo. CT and his wife Mary along with the CT3 Foundation are hosting the first L.A. edition of his annual charity golf event. Proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles supporting children battling cancer and other life-altering illnesses.
Tickets are still available here for the Thursday, January 12 event. For those that cannot attend, there will be an online auction running along with the event. Details on their site.
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