Justin Turner’s market had already reportedly narrowed to four teams, and the field could now be even thinner for the former All-Star. The Dodgers and Brewers have each made multi-year contract offers to Turner, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link), and while the third baseman could potentially have other longer-term offers on the table, Turner seems “less likely” to sign with other rumored suitors like the Braves, Mets, or Blue Jays.
If Turner’s final four is now down to a final two, the Dodgers are still in the lead, according to both Heyman and FanSided’s Robert Murray (via Twitter). There has been a widespread expectation for much of the winter that Turner would eventually re-sign with Los Angeles, though some wrinkles were added by Turner’s initial ask of a four-year contract, and the Dodgers already projected to spend far beyond the $215MM luxury tax threshold. As per Roster Resource, the Dodgers’ tax number for 2021 is over $240MM (thanks in large part to the Trevor Bauer signing), and spending beyond $250MM would trigger the maximum tax penalty — a 42.5% surtax on overages, and the Dodgers’ first 2021 draft pick would be dropped back in the draft order by 10 spots.
Of course, the Dodgers could have no issue taking the extra one-year tax hit in order to bolster their chances at another World Series title, or to retain a star player who has spent the last seven seasons in Dodger blue. Still, the lack of common ground to date between Turner and the Dodgers has opened the door for a team like Milwaukee, as Murray writes that the Brewers made a “competitive” offer. It seems unlikely that any team would be willing to give four guaranteed years to the 36-year-old Turner, but speculatively, the Brewers might gain an edge over L.A. by offering three years depending on the nature of the Dodgers’ offer.
As for the other teams linked to Turner, earlier reports suggested that the Mets weren’t getting far in contract talks. The chances of Turner going to Atlanta or Toronto seemed to dim after those teams made other high-priced signings — the Braves and Marcell Ozuna, and the Blue Jays with George Springer and Marcus Semien.