DECEMBER 23, 6:04pm: The deal has been announced.
3:28pm: Turner’s deal appears to have hit the books, though it hasn’t yet been announced. He’ll receive a $4MM signing bonus, with annual salaries of $12MM (2017), $11MM (2018), $18MM (2019), and $19MM (2020), per ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). There’s also a $1MM trade bonus provision, though Turner doesn’t pick up any other protection against being dealt, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (also via Twitter), who also specifies that the contract is indeed official.
DECEMBER 13: The Dodgers have finalized their new four-year deal with third baseman Justin Turner, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. The deal will guarantee Turner a total of $64MM, Bowden notes, as was reported yesterday when the two sides were first said to be nearing an agreement. Turner is a client of the Legacy Agency. The Dodgers have yet to officially announce the deal.
Turner, who just turned 32, was an unheralded minor league signing for the Dodgers three offseasons ago but broke out and reached star status in his three years with Los Angeles. Since being non-tendered by the Mets and signing in L.A., he’s slashed .296/.364/.492 with 50 homers in just shy of 1400 plate appearances. His walk rate was down a bit in 2016, but Turner offset the dip in on-base percentage by delivering the best power production of his life. Turner hit .273/.339/.493 while setting career-highs in home runs (27), doubles (34), triples (three), and isolated power (.218). Further strengthening his overall performance was his excellent defense at third base, where Defensive Runs Saved pegged him at seven run above average, while Ultimate Zone Rating was even more bullish at +14 runs.
[Related: Updated Los Angeles Dodgers Depth Chart]
A look at the open market shows a number of free-agent alternatives to Turner, and there were trade options to pursue as well (e.g. Todd Frazier), but none of the available alternatives can reliably be expected to produce in the manner that Turner did in his first three years with the Dodgers. Though president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman hasn’t made a habit out of beating the market and landing top-tier free agents since taking over atop the Dodgers’ front office, he’s now done just that on three instances this winter — each to retain one of his own players — by agreeing to new deals with Turner, Rich Hill and Kenley Jansen. That trio will cost the Dodgers about $192MM in total and add about $48MM of luxury tax considerations to the annual ledger.
Then again, the Dodgers are poised to see their commitments to Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Alex Guerrero come off the books next year and could bid farewell to Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-jin Ryu a year later. Those commitments total upward of $100MM in annual luxury tax penalization, so while the Dodgers are adding $48MM to their CBT total in the short-term, they’ll see more than twice that sum come off the books in the next 24 months. And, of course, Los Angeles could look to trade from its stable of veterans and jump the gun on removing some of those mostly onerous commitments from the ledger.
Of course, the Dodgers can’t be completely ruled out from pursuing further additions. They could still stand to see upgrades in the bullpen, at second base and possibly in the corner outfield. In particular, the 2016 iteration of the club was the worst in baseball at hitting left-handed pitching. The return of Turner should help with that flaw — though he did have some uncharacteristic struggles against southpaws last year — but further right-handed bats with some pop and/or strong on-base skills would make for reasonable pursuits. And, even with Jansen on board, the Dodgers are currently down a pair of setup men, as both Joe Blanton and J.P. Howell hit the free-agent market following the 2016 season.
Chris Camello of the Rebel Media Group reported Sunday that the two sides were nearing a four-year deal that could be worth about $65MM (Twitter link). ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted on Monday morning that there was growing confidence on the Dodgers’ behalf. Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links) and FOX’s Ken Rosenthal chipped in additional financial details (Twitter link).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Welcome back, RedTurn!
what we don’t know is, like Nelson Cruz, after so many years, did he finally “get it” and turn the corner into stardom or was just last year a fluke for Turner? He basically doubled his career HR total last season and drove in far more runs than in any other season. that’s the gamble for both LA and Turner. If it was a fluke, the Dodgers lose. If not, he’s a bargain.
For $16,000,000 they don’t need him to be a star. They’re paying him what Mark Melancon got.
He’s been great offensively for three years. Not sure how 2016 was a fluke.
because he hit 27 HR last year which was almost DOUBLE the rest of his career combined! He drove in 90 runs, which was 30 more than his previous high in a season. Not exactly Schmidt, Brett, Mathews or Beltre numbers. Yes, he hit 340 two years ago in 109 games….but only 7hr. Rather puny power numbers for third base. But, maybe our definitions of “great offensively” differ.
Turner’s recent power numbers are a direct result of adjustments he made to his batting stance and swing a couple of years ago. He spent a lot of time working it out in batting cages with his buddy Marlon Byrd. It’s a good baseball story, you could look it up.
Are we ignoring slugging percentage when looking at these numbers? I feel like we are. If a guy is slugging 500 at any position, I would be OK with it. He’d done it 3 years running.
Actually he has as many 500 slugging seasons as I do.
Umm, did you watch baseball in 2016? Everybody hit more home runs. It was a crazy year for power.
He had a career power year but overall his triple slash the previous 2 seasons was better. Say he hits something like .280/.350/.480 with 20 HR….his salary is completely justified. “rather puny power numbers” He’s also a GG caliber 3B…..There are players who are simply late bloomers.
and there are some who pick the right time to have a career year as they hit free agency, like Gary Matthews, Jr, sign a big contract and come back to the real world.
Well, one thing to remember…last year was JT’s full year as a regular and his micro fracture surgery helped him be able to play more games than ever in his career. I agree with his age it is a risk, but for the price it is a good gamble.
Not a bad deal if he stays as productive.
Even though he’s already 32 this is a great deal for the Dodgers. Turner is a star
Another acquisition from the Colletti regime, what has this latest group done?
Build them farm that you’ll see in the next 2 years and purge the bloated contracts from the previous group. Colletti did a lot of good for the team now, but this FO isn’t doing a bad job in my opinion.
Wait the organization after two years has a lot of players still on the roster what that never happens. I laugh every time this is an argument. Btw the Dodgers only resigned one of Colletti’s guys this offseason. They’ve brought in 4 top 100 guys and they’ve also done a good job of infusing their own young talent to the MiLB roster. Colletti was here forever and also experienced the deep system from the previous regime. So that’s kind a weak argument.
You seem to forget that Jansen, Martin, Kemp, Billingsley, Broxton, Loney, Santana etc… were all the former regimes players regardless of the trajectories of their career. Colletti did too inherit a top farm system.
Coletti did not even want Turner according to rumor.
Nearly every Dodger fan could inform you that Coletti was a disaster. Outsiders see spectacular players developed during his regime while we see that the majority got to the organization thanks to the rest of the front office including Logan White.
He was a publicity hire who took over the most stocked farm system of the 2000’s.
It’s also fair to point out that his directive under former penny-pinching owner Frank McCourt was to win now and to also cut payroll. So they made trades where they acquired current big league talent and got the other team to pay for most of the salary, but in doing so, the team had to give up way better prospects than normal. (That’s how Casey Blake for Santana happened.) He was really in a tough spot. They did make 3 NLCS appearances under him. I certainly think it’s fair to point out that a lot of the prospects that were drafted in the Colletti regime had Logan White written all over them. But still, given his circumstances, I don’t think that Colletti did a bad job. He never had a $250MM budget to work with; not even close.
Thank you, this is correct. The disinvestment in the farm system was the product of the Fox and McCourt ownerships. It did not happen overnight, and it sure wasn’t Colletti’s fault. During his time the Dodgers payroll was under $100M because his boss was bankrupt. This was the bag of hurt he was asked to manage and he did get some results.
Colleti is still in the Dodgers front office.
Dodgers did a great job of retaining there our own. My only question is, aren’t they carrying a lot of debt? Three good signs, though.
Yes they are carrying debt acquired but a portion of that comes out of the tv contract nothing to worry about
When Headley managed a 4/52, how the hell did Turner only manage a 4/64? Who’s his agent?
He didn’t want to leave LA. He had other offers worth more money and took less to stay from what I keep hearing.
Where exactly did you read that? I can’t find anything on this site that says that.
The source would be his agent, I think it was an interview with MLB radio where he said that Turner wouldn’t even listen to offers from other teams. Sounds like more than anything, he was happy and just wanted to stay where he was.
This wouldn’t surprise me, do you have a source for which teams/$$ were offered?
Can someone answer a question for me. How is Ethier as a defender? Is he better in LF or RF? I’ve always thought he would be a good fit in Toronto. Not sure if LA would pay $10-12 million to save some cash, but if so I think it would be worth it for the Jays.
$10-$12 million may be steep. More like $8-$10.
Defense starts with effort, need I say more, he is well B/Ave and Toronto doesn’t need him
So he’s worse than Bautista? I would like the Jays to sign Revere and give Pompey a shot, but I have always liked Ethier’s bat. If you’re telling me he’s a lazy and worse than Bautista then I’m out. He does fit their needs though
Na he’s not at all. He’s not the solid RF he once was but he’s still a quality corner. He just needs to be a place where he can DH once in a while though.
Well below average? You are foolish, he’s at minimum average and actually above average for corner OF. He played center for almost a full season as well. Please get you info accurate. Bautista isn’t even half fielder Dre is. His injury concerns are the only issue with Dre
if you’re talking about andre either, he is not a great fielder at all. He may be a better fielder than Bautista, but he is not great, by any stretch, he’s been below average for 5 of the last 6 seasons.
His range isn’t all that great, was serviceable but not optimal when he has played center. Average throwing arm.
Offensively, I’d think he’d be a nicer asset if he could play in a park with a short right porch. I could see him doing some damage if he played every day in a park like Arlington or Yankee Stadium.
He’s not bad defensively and he puts up good numbers at the plate when healthy. The thing is he’s making way more money than he should and he is injury prone. If the Dodgers have to keep him, I wouldn’t mind. He’s one of our more clutch players and a good bat to have.
I’m not a dodgers fan so I don’t have my hands on the magnifying glass but I feel like Ethier is a far better defender than Batista. I feel like If Bautista signs in the NL Ill be surprised.
Thanks for the reports, much appreciated
He broke his finger and missed the better part of season, then broke his leg and missed almost another entire season. I guess you can call that injury prone if you can name the injury to which he’s prone.
It seems to be just a couple of cases of unfortunate injuries. It’s not like he brittle. I mean he had to hit his leg in the perfect spot to break. I mean just miss the leg protection sounds more like talent to me. But in all seriousness he hasn’t seen the nagging serious injuries that would make people question whether or not he can still play.
Exactly. You can’t call any player injury prone by looking only at the number if games he missed without knowing why he missed them, unless somebody has a good medical theory for how breaking bones can be chronic problem. Or maybe he’s got a case of chronic bad luck. As for Ethier, his age has to be the main thing working against him now.
Which is why I believe he fits in better in the AL at this point in his career.
I was hoping he didnt sign with dodgers so they would trade Jose de leon for Todd Frazier
I think if the Dodgers were to trade De Leon, it would be for Dozier. That said, I don’t think they really want to trade him at all. It would likely take more than Frazier, though.
not signing turner wouldn’t mean they trade de leon for 1 year of frazier.
Welcome to the 41 man roster Justin Turner!
Good signing by the Dodgers. Turners a solid player. That is an absolutely perfect contract for Turner. Length and money are spot on what he’s worth. I thought someone would overpay for him and give him 5/90 or something like that. I’m shocked at how much this contract makes sense. Usually in baseball its an overpay or a bargain, never anything in the middle.
Nick Markakis’ 4/44 deal two years ago was similar to this. A good contract that favors both sides.
Who would you guys rather have for 4/64 Turner or Frazier? And does anybody remember what mlbtr had Turner’s contract at?
Turner by far. It was like 85/5 I believe somewhere around there.
Turner, hands down.
One of the better situational hitters on the roster. Doesn’t get nervy and go into “home run hero swing” mode in high leverage situations where a ball just needs to be put in play, or a guy needs to be sacflied home due to the in game situation.
He’s a standout at third as well, plus his experience all over the infield helps when they shift him all over the place.
Why Turner look like Sheamus with long hair?
He doesn’t. He looks like either Heath Slater or Travis Clark from We The Kings.
OK – we’ve resigned Turner
My only concern with Turner is he’s only had one 500 ab season. His numbers have been good pretty much his whole career when he gets abs. My gut tells me he’s a gamer and will produce at least 3.5 war throughout the duration of his contract.
I think your gut is on to something. That would be a continuation of a pattern.
So what are they waiting for to announce this already! been 2 weeks now!
They haven’t announced kenley either. I would say its nothing but i thought the same thing with iwikuma last year
I think it has something to do with his honeymoon and trying to get a physical completed the week before Christmas
Here’s another foolishly backloaded deal by the Dodgers. Maybe there really is something to this debt story if they’re curbing their current financial commitments to this degree.
False…teams defer money whenever possible. A dollar today is always better than a dollar tomorrow. How about you look at the Dodgers contractual obligations in two years then rethink your hate filled statement. Everybody is off the books in two years buddy
Especially when, during those years, the Dodgers have only 86 and 83 mil on the books as things currently stand. If they paid the money now, with the luxury tax, it would just plain cost more.
Ahem, 86 and 68 mil. My bad.
It doesent matter turner is owed 64 million and some deffered money won’t make a difference. Adrian, crawford, either, McCarthy and kazmir will all be coming off the book by the time turner is in the end of the deal
Kaz will be off the threshold books but they will be paying him until 21.
I think it should be right to note that the Dodgers save a good amount of money even if his AAV is 15-16M. The money they actually pay out towards the tax and his actual salary ends up being about 9M less since they backloaded the contract. I would say reading anymore into backloading contracts is reaching. Especially since a tremendous amount of dead money will be off the books once his salary jumps closer to the AAV.
You probably should not be in the financial industry… or analyzing baseball contracts.
too mich money for a 32 year old 3rd baseman that had his career Year !
That’s not too much at all!! Look how much Cespedes got as a worse defender at his position and pretty equal hitting stats besides homers. If you look ANYWHERE this deal is considered a steal based on his production and what others are getting. Fowler for 90mil for goodness sake…
Hey look miniSheamus resigned with the boys in blue
Why does everyone keep saying he had a career year? His numbers were worse across the board unless we use counting stats. Guy has been an animal 3 years running.
Probably anyone who says that is not a fan of the Dodgers that actually followed him.
“counting stats”? almost half Turner’s career HR numbers were hit last year! He drove in 30 more runs last year than in any previous season. scored far more runs and had more doubles and triples as well. baseball is about production and last year, he produced and had a career year.
Except everyone is forgetting in 2015 he was hobbling on a bad knee for a big part of the year. In which such surgery also affected him during the start of the 2016 season. His OBP, OPS,
Edit********It’s Hyun-jin Ryu
Fixed the typo.
Is Hyun-jun Ryu still on the DL from that hadouken he sustained last year?
Welcome back Animal!! Now we need a 2b hope we can get dozier or logan!
Good job Dodgers. Would’ve been a great player in an Angels uniform but He’s a bit too expensive for the Halos to offer anything that Turner would accept.