Justin Turner, Red Sox Reportedly Agree to Two-Year Deal

Justin Turner, Red Sox Reportedly Agree to Two-Year Deal
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Free agent infielder Justin Turner has reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Boston Red Sox. The club has not confirmed the deal. News of the signing was first reported by ESPN’s Joon Lee and Jeff Passan on Sunday afternoon. Turner’s new contract with the Red Sox is for two years and is worth $22 million. This comes after the Los Angeles Dodgers made the decision to decline Justin Turner’s $16 million club option for the 2023 season, instead paying him a $2 million buyout.

Justin Turner’s Slow Start

The 2022 season started off slowly for Justin Turner. He put together a slash line of .168/.226/.242 with one home run over his first 26 games. With his performance over this stretch, the 37-year-old infielder began to raise questions about whether he was experiencing a steep decline. Turner, however, soon began to answer those questions himself by turning things around.

Over his final 102 games beginning on May 10, Turner slashed .306/.380/.488 with 12 home runs, 32 doubles, and 68 RBI. His .868 OPS ranked 13th among major league qualifiers over that span. That put Justin Turner just behind Austin Riley and Pete Alonso, and ahead of Carlos Correa and Nolan Arenado.

Time at DH

Turner served as the Dodgers’ primary third baseman for the past several seasons. That changed, however, in 2022, as he started only 66 games at the hot corner, while starting 61 as their designated hitter. He has -1 Outs Above Average at third base since 2020, and his arm strength ranked in the 28th percentile this past season, per Statcast.

There are early reports that Turner will spend most of his time at the DH spot or first base, with Rafael Devers a mainstay at third base in Boston. This gives the Red Sox a promising replacement at DH after slugger J.D. Martinez went to Los Angeles on a one-year free-agent deal.

Turner’s Resume

Turner is a veteran of 14 major league seasons. He first signed with the Dodgers in February of 2014. This happened after the New York Mets non-tendered him following a four-year stint in Queens. With a remade swing, he quickly became an integral piece with his new club. His 133 OPS+ ranks fifth in Dodgers history (minimum 2,000 plate appearances).

This signing adds yet another former Dodger to the 2023 Red Sox ranks. They also have Kiké Hernández, Alex Verdugo, and pitchers Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin on their roster.

Main Photo:
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Players Mentioned:

Justin Turner, Austin Riley, Pete Alonso, Carlos Correa, Nolan Arenado, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Kiké Hernández, Alex Verdugo, Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin

 

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