One of the last remaining impact bats available in free agency is that of Justin Turner, who just keeps on raking even at age 36. He’s reportedly been hoping to secure a deal upwards of four years – hey, it might be his last chance to really score, so can you blame him? – but we’re getting mighty close to Spring Training, and you’ve gotta figure he’s getting close to pulling the trigger.
Against that backdrop, the final three teams in on him might be the Dodgers, Mets, and Brewers:
Mets interested in free-agent 3B Justin Turner, but parties not matching up on years/dollars, sources tell @TheAthletic. NYM also not sure what J.D. Davis might bring in a trade. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio intrigued by Turner as well. Dodgers (2-year deal?) remain best bet.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 9, 2021
Like Rosenthal says, an eventual reunion with the Dodgers has long made sense, and it’s hard to see the Brewers – for example – outbidding the Dodgers. Maybe the Mets decided to really step up, though that sounds unlikely:
There have been a number of questions about Justin Turner and the Mets. Not likely to happen. Like, Lloyd Christmas and Mary Swanson territory
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) February 9, 2021
So, then, maybe this is just a drawn out dance for Turner to get the best possible two-year deal from the Dodgers, or *maybe* get them up to three years. And, I suppose, we can’t rule out the possibility of a MYSTERY TEAM.
As we’ve said, it’s conceivable that a team or two is waiting until the Turner market wraps up before coming back to the Cubs about Kris Bryant (remember those hot-and-heavy Mets rumors? And the many Dodgers rumors over the last year+?), so this bears following for multiple reasons. The Cubs aren’t ruling out big trades in the run up to Spring Training, so a move remains possible, even if I’d peg it at “unlikely” at this point.