One of several big question marks facing the Dodgers this offseason is what to do with Justin Turner. Los Angeles holds a $16 million team option for Turner’s services in 2023, but for the first time since he came to L.A. before the 2014 season, the question of whether he’s worth it is up for debate.
Turner battled back from a disastrous first five weeks of the season to post another solid offensive year for the Dodgers, batting .278 with a .788 OPS and 116 OPS+ in 532 plate appearances. But the OPS and OPS+ were both the worst of his Dodgers career, as was his .438 slugging percentage, and his .278 batting average and .350 on-base percentage were both second-worst.
And then there’s his postseason performance. After being a bona fide playoff legend for the Dodgers, batting .294 with a .905 OPS in is first 73 postseason games, Turner has batted just .116 with a .356 OPS over his last three series (2021 NLDS and NLCS, 2022 NLDS).
All of that has left fans wondering whether JT should be back in Dodger blue next year.
But if you ask SNLA analysts Orel Hershiser and Jerry Hairston Jr., there’s no question. During a roundtable discussion last week, they were both adamant about wanting JT back.
Hershiser: “I hope JT’s back in that Dodger uniform. I hope they agree. I hope they agree to disagree as far as if they go somewhere else but this is a Dodger through and through, he needs to be in Dodger blue.”
Hairston: “I agree. I hope he is back. He is an LA native and ever since he’s put on that Dodger uniform, he has thrived. The key is make sure to keep him healthy — he doesn’t play every single day, he may not have to play every day. He can DH a little bit, play a little third. Again, we want to have Justin Turner back.”
In the next few weeks, we’ll find out if the Dodgers front office agrees.
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