Braves List of Targets Shrinking to Possible Justin Turner Signing
With the options quickly coming off the board, we take a look at another free agent not many thought the Atlanta Braves would be interested in.
There have been a lot of players come off the board in recent weeks that would have made a lot of sense for the Atlanta Braves as they continue to seek an impact bat for the lineup.
One name we haven’t mentioned much on here is Justin Turner.
Alan did write about him — and other third-base options — last week after this tweet from Jon Heyman saying the Braves have shown interest in him.
The market for Turner appears to be down to four teams — Dodgers, Blue Jays, Brewers, and possibly the Braves.
The reason I haven’t considered Turner to the Braves is because I — like most people — believe he’ll ultimately just go back to the Dodgers where he’s had a ton of success and just won a World Series.
It would be pretty weird not to see him in that Dodgers uniform anymore.
There’s also the fact that he’s 36 years old and looking for a four-year deal, which he’s not going to get from anyone.
But still, giving someone at his age a multi-year deal isn’t normally good business and not how Alex Anthopoulos has operated.
Turner is still producing even at his age hitting .307 this past season with an OPS of .860. He’s a wRC+ of 123 or better in every season he’s been with the Dodgers since 2014.
I think he would be a good fit in the lineup assuming he continues to produce at that level. And he clearly has the postseason pedigree with a .295 average and .899 OPS in 72 playoff games.
The defense at third base is not great, but it’s also not terrible — certainly not any worse than what Austin Riley will give you.
Plus, there is still the chance of a DH in 2021 and most likely in 2022.
If the Braves wanted to offer him a two-year deal for around $30 million I wouldn’t be mad at the signing. However, I do feel like there are other teams out there who would easily beat that offer.
The point is, that I’m just now getting to at the end of the article (sorry), is that the Braves are running out of options.
On the free-agent market, I feel like their tier list was George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, and Turner.
The first two are gone and the DH thing is holding up Ozuna. If the Braves can’t land him then it’s pretty much down to Turner in free agency.
We’ll see how it plays out over the next week or so before spring training. How would you feel if the Braves had to settle for Turner as their big bat acquisition of the offseason?