BLUE JAYS SIGN JUSTIN TURNER TO ONE-YEAR DEAL

2024-01-31 · 2 min read · MLB/Baseball
Jays announced that they have inked veteran slugger Justin Turner to a one-year, $13 million deal

NESN | TSN

It took a while, but the Blue Jays have finally found their DH for 2024.
The club announced that they have inked veteran slugger Justin Turner to a one-year, $13 million deal with additional performance-based incentives. The longtime Los Angeles Dodgers’ 3B most recently played with the Boston Red Sox in 2023, his first non-LA season since 2013 when he was with the New York Mets.
It’s his third American League East squad - fifth overall - over 15 years in the Majors, far removed from his debut in 2014 with the Baltimore Orioles. Tabbed as a left-side-of-the-infield presence for much of his career, Turner has transitioned into more of a DH/1B role since 2022. The now-39-year old posted an effective year with the Red Sox last summer, hitting .276 with 23 bombs and 96 driven in. He’ll likely slide right into the middle of the lineup for Toronto, a hopeful solution to the team’s vast inability to produce offensively in ‘23.
Though manu rumours have suggested that the Blue Jays have been in the market for another left-handed bat, this Turner deal may close that door - against right-handed pitching in 2023, Turner hit .273 with 15 of his 23 home runs, while being a righty himself. It wasn’t a secret to anyone that Toronto’s right-handed dominant lineup hurt them - Springer, Bichette, Guerrero Jr., Jansen, Kirk, Chapman and Schneider are all righties - especially with Daulton Varsho struggling with the bat all throughout. Turner’s splits are not as drastic RHP vs. LHP, leading us to believe that other power-hitting, DH-types the team was linked to like Soler, Martinez, and, to a lesser extent, Cody Bellinger, may be out of the equation.
If nothing else, Turner will provide offensive depth in an area that has been severely lacking during recent times, even if it may only be for one season. Expect him to play some 1B on days when Vlad requires a day off - over 41 games at first with Boston he posted a .989 Fld%, slightly below the league average of .995. For reference, Guerrero Jr. fielded at a .991 clip in ‘23.
Objectively, Justin Turner is a good signing. Also objectively, this offseason has been a major letdown.
A constant theme over the past few months has been that management has tried (and failed) to land bigger names, and it is hard to disprove that of being the reality we find ourselves in. No fault belongs to Turner or Kiner-Falefa or Rodriguez, however the fact remains that there are far too many talking points Blue Jays fans can refer to when contemplating how optimistic one should be entering 2024.
I mean, striking out on Ohtani, Soto, and Polanco aren’t losses you can sweep under the rug.
Back in November when GM Ross Atkins made clear that the organization was looking to add “one to four bats” to the roster, I don’t think Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Justin Turner were who we had in mind. Nonetheless, the fact remains that Opening Day isn’t tomorrow and that there is still time for pieces to be juggled. At least, that’s what we have to keep telling ourselves.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins

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