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Dodgers Reporter Speaks on Justin Turner’s Importance in the Clubhouse

Justin Turner has spent the last nine seasons with the Dodgers, ever since he signed as a minor-league free agent prior to the 2014 season. The SoCal native, who grew up rooting for the Dodgers, has become an integral part of L.A.’s team identity both on and off the field.

Now, for the third time since he came home to Los Angeles, Turner is a free agent. Each of the first two times he hit free agency, he ended up re-signing with the Dodgers, and both he and the team would like that to be the case again this year. But with L.A.’s budget-conscious offseason thus far, it seems like there’s at least a chance JT will be wearing something other than Dodger blue next season.



At the Winter Meetings last week, we caught up with Pedro Moura, who has covered the Dodgers for several outlets over the years. Moura talked about the intangibles Turner brings to L.A.

“As far as his leadership in the clubhouse, I think the Dodgers have demonstrated that they think clubhouse personalities and leadership can be regenerated through the years. And I think that they would probably imagine that what Turner has imparted on other, younger players will remain even when he is retired, because this guy isn’t going to be around for more than a few more seasons at this age. And so, at some point they’re going to have to transition away from him, and I think that they believe that he has set the tone that a lot of the players now follow in there. And so I think they’ll be fine on that front whenever he is done.”

It’s a double-edged sword, of course. Turner’s leadership has undoubtedly impacted many of the younger players in the organization, which means his departure could impact those same players negatively. In a perfect world, Turner and the Dodgers would agree perfectly on the timeline of his career, but in the real world, most players have a year or two (or more) of lackluster play before they hang up their spikes. And in the world the L.A. front office has created, this particular team generally doesn’t like to pay guys in their declining years.

You’d hope they’d make an exception for a guy like JT. Even if they do believe, as Moura says, that his leadership is replaceable, he’s still an icon in Los Angeles, and he should retire a Dodger, whenever that is.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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4 Comments

  1. Snider, you have constantly disregarded my previous comments on JT. Why?
    Speaking the truth, IMHO.

  2. Justin Turner should be resigned to the Dodgers He is a great mentor for the younger players and can play third base Please resign him and do not let him get away. I believe he wants to stay a Dodger until he retires. Please keep him

  3. JT is another player like Chase Utley was. You sign him for the veteran leadership and presence, not necessarily for his playing stats.

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