Justin Turner Rumors: Dodgers 'Would Love' to Sign Star to New Contract in FA

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIJanuary 20, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner flies out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays a baseball World Series Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers are circling back to Justin Turner as they work to round out their infield through free agency. 

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, Turner is considered the "top choice" of the reigning World Series champions, though Marcus Semien has caught the team's attention, as well. 

Turner, 36, slashed .307/.400/.460 in 42 games last season with four home runs and 23 RBI. He also hit another two homers in the World Series, helping the Dodgers snap a championship drought that began in 1989.

The Dodgers lead MLB in payroll at $194.8 million, per Spotrac, but may be preparing for another spending spree. Aside from their interest in Turner and Semien, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Wednesday that L.A. is "monitoring the market" for reigning National League Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. 

While the Dodgers are focused on adding to their infield first and foremost, they are staying engaged with the top free agent in this year's class. 

Just how much money the team is willing to spend this offseason remains to be seen. 

Spotrac projects Turner's market value at $13.9 million per year. That would put him in line with the likes of the Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez, Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada and Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager. By comparison, Spotrac estimates Semien will sign for $19 million per year. 

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One of the most recognizable Dodgers of the last decade—in equal parts due to his energy, steady bat and trademark red beard—Turner was named an All-Star in 2017, the same year he earned NLCS MVP honors. The infielder was also named the team's nominee for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award honoring community and philanthropic endeavors.

Most recently, Turner is known for violating MLB's health and safety protocols when he returned to the field to celebrate the World Series title with his teammates without a mask after testing positive for COVID-19. 

MLB declined to punish Turner for the incident, and the veteran released an apology shortly thereafter. 

Should the Dodgers fail to re-sign Turner, or add Semien, they could look at other free-agent infielders like Daniel Murphy, Andrelton Simmons or Didi Gregorius.