Justin Turner has been the Dodgers’ best hitter in the early going in 2021, and he’s signed for two seasons, with an option for 2023 as well. Back in February the extremely popular and productive third baseman talked about returning to his hometown team.
“At the end of the day it all worked out like it was supposed to, and I’m back in Dodger blue like I was supposed to be,” Turner said when his two-year, $34 million contract with the Dodgers became official.
But even though Turner’s returned was expected and actualized, it wasn’t always inevitable.
Turner was a guest Thursday on the Chris Rose Rotation (with old friend and current Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas as co-host), and discussed the Blue Jays’ and Brewers’ interest in him as a free agent during the offseason.
“From about a week out of the season ending, I was in contact with the Blue Jays had a lot of conversations with the Blue Jays. And there was a point where I thought I was gonna receive an offer from the Blue Jays before I’ve even gotten a phone call from the Dodgers,” Turner said. “So that was a little had me a little nervous, actually, you know, like, what, what do I do if I have a great offer from a team and I haven’t even heard from the Dodgers yet?”
Toronto’s pursuit of Turner ended once they signed Marcus Semien on ..., but Milwaukee emerged as another suitor.
“It was competitive from the Brewers. They really wanted me they they dug deep they had — I had multiple calls and zoom calls. You know, I got calls from Mark Kotsay. I got calls from Trevor Hoffman, I got calls, from Yelich, and Counsell and I talked to Stearns multiple times. And I talked to and Attanasio their owner,” Turner said. “The the pursuit was real, the offer was real. The interest was real. At the end of the day, it just came down to you know, I think I’m where I’m supposed to be and that’s that’s back with the Dodgers.”
Links & notes
- Beginning Friday at noon PT, the Dodgers will sell single-game tickets for the upcoming homestand, which runs from May 11-20 and brings the Mariners, Marlins, and Diamondbacks to town.
- Dave Wallace, who was pitching coach for the Dodgers from 1995-97 and even interim general manager briefly in 2001, was named to Mike Scioscia’s staff as pitching coach for Team USA, who will attempt to qualify for the Olympics in June.
- Dodgers-Padres is a rivalry that was decades in the making and has finally arrived, writes RJ McDaniel at FanGraphs.
- Yu Darvish, who starts Friday for San Diego, won’t be offended if he gets booed at Dodger Stadium, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- Kenley Jansen has shown flashes of his vintage self, writes Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times.
- Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest is counting down his top Dodgers prospects. At No. 3 is third baseman Miguel Vargas.
- The latest episode of the LA Times’ video series remembering the 40th anniversary Fernandomania includes how Mike Brito and the Dodgers discovered Fernando Valenzuela in Mexico.
- Mookie Betts and Lakers guard Dennis Schröder have cameos in a new ad for ‘Call of Duty’. Harrison Faigen at Silver Screen and Roll has more details.