In a move that will bring sighs of relief to their fans, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signing of free agent third baseman Justin Turner to a four-year contract. Other outlets have reported the deal is worth $64 million.
“I'm excited to return to the Dodgers for another four years,” said Turner. “Playing in Los Angeles has been special for me, and I want to continue to represent and give back to this community and bring our fans the championship they deserve.”
Turner has had a huge impact with the club since coming out of nowhere in 2014 to eventually earn the job at third base. Not only has he proven to be a reliable glove in the field and a power-hitting right-handed bat in the LA lineup, but he has also become a leader in the Dodgers locker room.
In 18 postseason games with the Dodgers, Turner has proven to be a clutch player as well, posting a .357/.471/.607 slashline, going 20-for-56 with six doubles, a triple, two home runs, and 12 RBI.
Turner, 32, is coming off a career year, where he batted .275 and posted career-highs in runs (79), hits (153), walks (48), doubles (34), triples (3), homers (27), RBI (90) and games played (151). Turner finished ninth in the NL Most Valuable Player voting, and was a finalist for both the Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award for his community involvement and the Gold Glove Award, ranking third among NL third basemen with seven defensive runs saved according to FanGraphs.
“We are extremely happy to announce that Justin Turner will remain a Dodger for years to come. JT has been, and will continue to be, a vital part of the Dodgers on the field, in the clubhouse and in the community,” said Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “His talent, work ethic, leadership and instincts for the game embodies a lot of what we look for in a Dodger player.”
Turner originally signed with the Dodgers in 2014, and has batted .296 with 81 doubles, 50 home runs, and 193 RBI in 386 regular-season games in three seasons with the club. During his time with Los Angeles, Turner ranks among National League leaders in batting average (.296, 9th), on-base percentage (.364, 14th) and slugging percentage (.492, 12th), while hitting .345 with runners in scoring position – the second best mark among NL qualifiers.
The Southern California native and Mayfair High School product has a .282 career batting average with 58 home runs and 282 RBI in eight big-league seasons with Baltimore (2008-10), New York-NL (2010-13) and Los Angeles (2014-16) after being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Fullerton.
The Dodgers have 40 players on their 40-man roster.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services