The Boston Red Sox have added to their lineup. The Red Sox and Justin Turner have agreed to a two-year contract worth $22 million, according to ESPN. The deal includes an opt out after 2023. The team has not yet confirmed the signing.
Although he has spent most of his career at third base, the 38-year-old Turner won't unseat Rafael Devers at the hot corner, and he is likely to see most of his action at DH in Boston. Boston's previous DH, J.D. Martinez, signed recently with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Turner's former team. .
Devers, of course, Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts to long-term extensions in recent years. If they trade Devers like they traded Betts, Turner could be at least a part-time replacement at third base., particularly since the two sides reportedly remain far apart in contract extension talks. He is a year away from free agency and the Red Sox were unable to lock up
A Red Sox source just described Justin Turner as a DH/1B for next season.— Chad Jennings (@chadjennings22) December 18, 2022
Turner hit .278/.350/.438 with 13 home runs in 128 games this past season, including .340/.412/.514 in 58 games after July 1., one spot behind Martinez. Here's his write-up:
The other Turner in this class had his $16 million club option declined by the Dodgers just days shy of his 38th birthday. (At least the $2 million buyout made for a decent present?) Turner is an attrition risk in a few respects: 1) he's on the older side; and 2) he's played in 150 or more games just twice in his past eight regulation-length seasons. Nevertheless, he remains capable of getting on base and it's not like the third-base market is brimming with great options.
Turner spent the last nine seasons with the Dodgers and he is one of the best players in franchise history. He ranks top 20 on the Dodgers' all-time list in doubles, home runs slugging percentage, total bases, OPS and WAR, and he is one of only 33 players to play in at least 1,000 games for the franchise. That includes both their Brooklyn and Los Angeles years.
Furthermore, Turner is a career .270/.370/.460 hitter with 13 home runs in 86 postseason games. He was co-MVP of the 2017 NLCS with Chris Taylor and helped Los Angeles win the 2020 World Series. Turner will face his former team at Fenwary Park the weekend of Aug. 25-27. The Red Sox do not visit Dodger Stadium in 2023.
Boston finished in the AL East cellar at 78-84 this past season. They've been to the postseason just once since beating Turner's Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. Turner will reunite with former Dodgers teammates Enrique Hernández and Kenley Jansen with the Red Sox.