Yesterday we learned that free agent Justin Turner had a final four teams he was considering for 2021. The Dodgers and Blue Jays have long been known as interested parties, but now we can add the Brewers as the third team looking to woo Turner, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network. Turner wants a four-year deal, but that seems unlikely for the 36-year-old. The Dodgers hope to bring him back for two, but if another team is willing to go to three years for the GEM Agency client, that could be enough to pry Turner from LA. Whether the Blue Jays, Brewers, or the final mystery team are willing to make that kind of commitment to Turner is TBD.
The Brewers are an interesting entrant into the Turner sweepstakes. They have about $25MM before hitting their luxury tax payroll from 2020, so there’s room for a splashy addition if the Brewers are going to maintain their payroll. That’s a big “if,” however. The Brewers have been largely inactive thus far, however, with their only Major League contract going to infielder Daniel Robertson, who figures to play a reserve role for Milwaukee.
The Brewers have a host of young, promising, but unproven infield contributors who could move around the diamond to accommodate Turner. Keston Hiura demands a lineup spot, and he’ll probably play the keystone, while Luis Urias and Orlando Arcia are their other likely starters. Arcia has had more than enough time to establish himself, and outside of some postseason and big-game heroics, he hasn’t done enough to guarantee his starting spot. A career slash line of .244/.295/.366, with a roughly-average 20.1 percent strikeout rate, and below-average 6.6 percent walk rate definitely leaves room for improvement. Turner’s 130 wRC+, for instance, would give the Brewers’ lineup quite the boost from Arcia’s 71 wRC+ career mark.