Justin Turner is returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In what is a rarity in 2021, Turner himself broke the news of his return to the Boys in Blue via his Twitter account on Saturday night.
“Lettt’s gooo run it back Dodgers fans!” read the tweet, accompanied by a photograph of Turner after he hit his infamous walk-off home run in Game 2 of the 2017 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs. “LA, He’s Here to Stay,” read the caption behind the photo.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal were the first to report the details of the contract, which is reportedly a two-year deal worth $34 million. There is a team-option for a third year on the deal, that would bring the total to $48 million over three years should the Dodgers take the option. Turner also received an $8 million signing bonus, and has performance bonuses written in the contract that could increase the contract to as much as $52 million total.
The 36-year-old third baseman batted .307 with four homers, 23 RBIs and an .860 OPS during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
The red-headed slugger hit .320 with two homers during the World Series before being pulled from the deciding Game 6 after testing positive for the coronavirus. He infamously broke protocol by returning to the field after the final out and removed his mask near teammates during the celebration. MLB decided against punishing him.
Turner became a free agent when his $64 million, four-year deal with the Dodgers expired after the World Series. He earned a prorated $7,037,037 of his $19 million salary in 2020.
Turner also had other suitors as well. Reportedly, the Milwaukee Brewers also offered Turner a two-year, $34 million deal with a third-year team option. The Braves and Blue Jays also reportedly had interest in Turner, but the Long Beach born, Southern California native opted to return home for the remainder of his career.
A late-bloomer after overhauling his swing in his late 20s, Turner has been an anchor in the Dodgers’ lineup for most of their eight straight NL West titles. He hit .302 with 116 homers over seven seasons in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers are set to bring back essentially the same team that won the 2020 title — along with NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer, who signed a $102 million, three-year deal with Los Angeles this week. Adding Bauer and returning Turner gave the Dodgers a splashy finish to an otherwise quiet offseason, cementing the champs as a threat to repeat just days before pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training.
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Source: NBC Los Angeles