The Dodgers have re-signed Justin Turner. The All-Star third baseman has penned a new deal for two years with a team option. This was the perfect outcome for the Dodgers after seeing the Yankees re-up DJ LeMahieu.
Turner had been asking for a longer pact. Keeping it to two years guaranteed is a win for the Dodgers, a win in another brilliant offseason for the reigning champions. Linked with LeMahieu, the Dodgers played the waiting game with Turner. They let the Brewers flirt. They bided their time, and got what they wanted.
This contract takes the Dodgers into historic payroll territory. The penalties for going so far into the luxury tax are significant, but does that matter if they defend their World Series crown?
Losing Kike Hernandez and Joc Pederson was a hit to the Dodgers’ depth. The ascension of prospects should cover those holes. A bullpen led by a modern great in Kenley Jansen has been reinforced with the extension of Blake Treinen and trade for Corey Knebel. Of course, Trevor Bauer was the headliner. Bauer’s signature was the ultimate response to the Padres string of pitching trades.
Turner boosts projections
Per Depth Charts, only the Yankees project for more WAR in 2021. The Dodgers are 6.3 WAR clear of the Padres. Keeping Turner, who is tabbed for three WAR, is a big part in that. This loaded roster is projected to win 97 games, and if anything, that seems a bit harsh. With so many games against the Diamondbacks, Giants and Rockies, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dodgers win triple figures for the third time in five years.
It’s easy to relax after a championship. It’s a trend witnessed across sports, and none more so than MLB. The Red Sox quickly threw in the towel. The Astros have been picked apart. Talk of a Cubs dynasty now seems laughable as they embark on a rebuild. The Dodgers, through a combination of sheer spending power and trademark shrewd acquisitions, have re-affirmed their status as title favorites.
This has been the offseason of an organization not happy with one World Series. They have put themselves in the best possible position to go back-to-back.