For some, the absence of Justin Turner in Dodger blue is still puzzling — including for Justin himself. As the Boston Red Sox were in LA (Orange County) playing the Angels in May, Turner spoke more about his offseason and his communication with the Dodgers about his desire to return for a 10th season in blue.
Jorge Castillo of the LA Times reports.
“I never pictured myself wearing another uniform,” Turner told Castillo. “And when my option was declined, I made that clear to multiple people. …There [were] multiple people that I told, ‘Hey, I want to come back. I want to get this done as fast as possible. Let’s not beat around the bush. Let’s not drag this thing out. This is where I want to be.’
“So, from my perspective, I wasn’t playing any games or trying to leverage anything. I made it clear what I wanted. So I don’t know what happened, but it happened.”Via LA Times
Turner has played well in Boston, reconnecting with a few familiar faces including long time teammates Kenley Jansen and Kiké Hernandez. For Hernandez, it’s still a shock to see him in any uniform other than a Dodgers uniform even though Kiké was one of the biggest reasons he signed with the Red Sox one day after the Dodgers signed DH J.D. Martinez.
“I still look at him sometimes during games and it’s just like, ‘Damn, this is kind of weird still. Two months into the season, after two months in spring training, it’s still weird. But as weird as it is, I’m happy that I get to be his teammate again.”
The Sox have struggled this season, sitting in last place in the AL East, 10 games behind the first place Rays. A far cry from the successes Turner had been used to in his Dodger tenure. What’s most interesting from this whole thing is the way the Dodgers seemingly left JT hanging, at least in his interpretation. If his version is the completely accurate version of the story, the LA front office kind of did him dirty.
Andrew Friedman and GM Brandon Gomes maintained that the team had interest in Turner through the early part of the offseason and into the winter meetings. Then, they just seemingly left him out to dry. If the plan was to move on from him, you’d probably like the organization to be a little more transparent, but we’ll never know what truly transpired over the winter.
The Dodgers visit Boston for three games against the Red Sox at the end of August where it’ll be a nice reunion regardless of where things left off in December.