Free agency is a magical time for a player, a chance to talk to as many teams as he wants, explore the world of baseball, and see what’s out there. When a star player hits free agency, there’s always a really good chance he’s going to switch teams as other teams engage in a bidding war for his services. Sure, there’s a connection to where you came from, but the excitement and dollars available elsewhere often pull people away.
That hasn’t been the case with Justin Turner and the Dodgers. Twice — after the 2016 and 2020 seasons — JT has hit free agency, and both times, he came back home to Los Angeles. Dodgers Nation talked with baseball writer Pedro Moura, who has covered the team for multiple outlets, at the Winter Meetings, and he expects that same dynamic to play out this offseason.
“I think Justin Turner’s like the rare exception. Whenever a player reaches free agency, you’re always going to bet on them leaving versus staying. But he, and this has been the case now twice, he is the exception. I think he’s still more likely to return to Los Angeles than he is to leave. Especially at this advanced age, he just turned 38.
“I’m not saying it’s a 100% guarantee. I think there will be some other teams interested. But I think at this point, the Dodgers understand how to utilize him, and he appreciates that. And I think the ability to play him 50 or 60 or 70 games at third base, and then mostly at DH or something like that, makes a lot of sense. And the Dodgers are equipped to do that with Muncy and his flexibility. So it’s just a natural pairing forged because they’ve been pairing for a long time.”
JT wants to be a Dodger. It’s the team he grew up rooting for, and he’s a pillar of the community. He’s said his whole life changed when he came to L.A., and there are also reports that he’s waiting patiently for the Dodgers to figure out how much they can pay him.
Turner and the Dodgers belong together, and hopefully Moura will end up being right about this pairing.
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