clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Salary arbitration preview 2015: Justin Turner

New, 117 comments
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Up next on our look at Dodgers eligible for salary arbitration is infielder Justin Turner, who is due for a nice, big raise after a stellar 2014 season.

Turner has four years, 45 days of major league service time, but this is his first time going through the salary arbitration process. He was eligible for arbitration after 2013, but was non-tendered by the Mets, making him a free agent.

The Dodgers happily scooped up the gift, signing the former Cal State Fullerton star to a minor league deal. Turner made the club out of spring training and earned a $1 million base salary, plus another $100,000 in performance bonuses. He proved to be a force at the plate, hitting .340/.404/.493 with 21 doubles and seven home runs in 109 games, taking over capably at third base twice when Juan Uribe was injured, and filled in at second base and shortstop on occasion as well.

Here is a look at some infielders comparable to Turner and their career numbers. It is the same list used for Darwin Barney, with a few additions:

Comparable arbitration-eligible infielders (career)
Infielder Years Svc Time PA BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ wOBA wRC+ rWAR fWAR Salary
Justin Turner
2009-2014 4.045 1,248 .281/.344/.395 108 .328 110 4.9 4.0 tbd
Gordon Beckham 2009-2013 4.123 2,475 .249/.314/.380 85 .308 86 5.6 5.4 $4,175,000
Daniel Murphy 2008-2013 4.109 2,439 .290/.333/.424 108 .329 108 8.9 9.0 $5,700,000
Sean Rodriguez 2008-2013 4.133 1,594 .228/.304/.360 85 .296 86 7.7 6.0 $1,475,000
Emilio Bonifacio 2007-2012 4.066 1,838 .267/.329/.343 81 .301 82 3.6 3.4 $2,600,000
Mike Aviles 2008-2012 4.091 1,871 .277/.308/.408 92 .312 89 8.0 6.3 $1,750,000*
Jed Lowrie 2008-2012 4.111 1,307 .250/.326/.417 97 .326 98 5.3 5.8 $2,400,000
Alberto Callaspo 2006-2011 4.135 2,208 .281/.337/.389 97 .320 94 7.2 7.0 $3,150,000
Martin Prado 2006-2011 4.105 2,109 .293/.341/.434 108 .340 109 10.7 8.6 $4,750,000
*Part of two-year contract, signing bonus spread over both years of deal

Turner is a tough one to analyze, with the bulk of his career wins above replacement coming in one year. His launch season of 2014 stands out among these same players:

Single-season arbitration-eligible infielders
Infielder Year PA BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ wOBA wRC+ rWAR fWAR Salaryn Salaryn+1 Increase
Justin Turner
2014 322 .340/.404/.493 155 .394 157 4.3 3.2 $1,000,000 tbd tbd
Gordon Beckham 2013 408 .267/.322/.372 89 .306 88 0.8 1.0 $2,975,000 $4,175,000 +40.3%
Daniel Murphy
2013 697 .286/.319/.415 108 .320 107 1.5 3.0 $2,925,000 $5,700,000 +94.9%
Sean Rodriguez 2013 222 .246/.320/.395 97 .313 101 0.6 1.1 $1,000,000 $1,475,000 +47.5%
Emilio Bonifacio 2012 274 .258/.330/.316 76 .290 79 0.6 0.4 $2,200,000 $2,600,000 +18.2%
Mike Aviles
2012 546 .250/.282/.381 77 .288 75 2.5 1.5 $1,200,000 $1,750,000* +45.8%
Jed Lowrie
2012 387 .244/.331/.438 107 .336 110 2.0 2.5 $1,150,000 $2,400,000 +108.7%
Alberto Callaspo 2011 536 .288/.366/.375 112 .328 109 3.4 3.5 $2,000,000 $3,150,000 +57.5%
Martin Prado 2011 590 .260/.302/.385 87 .302 89 1.8 1.3 $3,100,000 $4,750,000 +53.2%
*Part of two-year contract, signing bonus spread over both years of deal

The best comps for Turner just might be Lowrie for career numbers, or Alberto Callaspo for a launch season, which gives us a nice range of $2.4 million to $3.15 million.

2015 guess

MLB Trade Rumors projected a salary for Turner of $2.2 million, though given his strong season I think Turner should be able to at least match Lowrie. So I'll guess $2.6 million for Turner in 2015.

These arbitration studies are made much easier thanks to Baseball-Reference, Cot's Baseball Contracts, MLB Trade Rumors and FanGraphs.