One Year, 17.3 Billion FA Contract
The Toronto Blue Jays of the U.S. Major League Baseball MLB have found another mentor for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After recruiting Ryu Hyun-jin 37 to lead the team’s young pitchers four years ago, they brought in Justin Turner 40 to focus on their young batters this time.
“Toronto has signed a one-year, 13 million-dollar contract with Turner. We have brought one of the most reliable and veteran baseball players to Toronto.” The contract between Toronto and Turner reportedly includes a 1.5 million-dollar Major League roster and bonuses according to their performances.
Turner was a player who led the heyday of the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Ryu, and Korean fans are familiar with him. He joined the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the rookie draft in 2006, went through the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Mets, and had an ordinary career until the 29th season as a platoon infielder.
However, after being released from the New York Mets, Ryu joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014, and his life changed. As a starting third baseman, he transformed himself into an All-Star who hits double-digit home runs every year. Until 2022, when he was a Dodgers pitcher, it swept the National League West eight times, including seven consecutive seasons, and grabbed the top spot in the World Series in 2020. Notably, around 2017, he had a career-high season as he ranked eighth, the highest MVP, and was named the first All-Star. He also had a clutch capability known as “turner time,” which was highly loved by his teammates and fans.
Turner was a much-loved player, which can be seen by the LA Dodgers’ attitude when it said goodbye to him. After the 2022 season, the LA Dodgers did not implement Turner and the team option because of the rebuilding process. As a free agent, Turner signed a one-year, 15 million-dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox. Then, the LA Dodgers released a highlight film of Turner from the time he joined to his departure and expressed its gratitude through its SNS, gaining explosive popularity from fans, with the video exceeding 190,000 likes.
In addition, the Major League Baseball ended nine years beautifully with the Dodgers as it was selected as the representative of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Roberto Clemente Award, which is given to players who have performed exemplary activities in moral aspects such as social contribution and sportsmanship every year.
The same role is expected in Toronto. Toronto, which barely advanced to the postseason as a wild card last year, needed a veteran to take the center stage in its lineup. With Matt Chapman, 31, the third baseman of the Gold Glove who recorded 17 home runs, leaving for the FA, the third and fourth batters became vacant at the same time. He tried hard to fill the vacancy this winter, but it was not easy to find. However, with Turner coming, Toronto was able to find the third baseman, the fourth batter and a mental mentor to lead young fielders.
Ryu’s recruitment four years ago overlaps. In 2019, Toronto listed top prospects such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 25 and Bo Bissett 26 on its Major League roster, and was waiting for the team to complete its rebuilding process. At the same time, it needed a veteran and ace pitcher to lead young pitchers, and that winter he signed a four-year, 80 million-dollar FA contract with Ryu, which was the ultimate accomplishment. Until then, Toronto, which was reluctant to spend a lot of money on the ground of rebuilding, started aggressive investments such as a six-year, 150 million-dollar FA contract with George Springer 35 and a five-year, 110 million-dollar FA contract with Kevin Gausman, and a seven-year, 113 million-dollar extension with Jose Berrios. For this reason, Ryu was widely evaluated as a starting point for Toronto’s bid for the presidency.
Prospects grew into the main players when recruiting Ryu, but they are still young. Not only Guerrero Jr. and Bissett, but also Alejandro Kirk 26 and Dalton Basho 28 needed veterans in their batting lineup.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said, “Turner has proven to be not only an outstanding player on the field, but also an exemplary leader in the clubhouse. Turner’s history of playing at a critical moment and his consistent passion for victory are impressive characters. In addition, the Turner couple’s philanthropy and dedication are in line with the values our team pursues. I couldn’t be more excited considering Turner’s positive impact on our club both on and off the field,” in explaining the reason for the recruitment.
MLB also said, “I can’t overemphasize Turner’s experiential elements. Bissett has grown into a thoughtful young leader and is well aware of what Toronto and the clubhouse need. It’s hard to see Toronto as a young team anymore, but I still need that leadership and Turner has 15 years of Major League experience.” “Turner showed an outstanding performance with a batting average of 0.270 and 13 home runs and an OPS on-base plus slugging of 0.830 in 86 postseason games. Notably, when the LA Dodgers won in 2020, they marked 1.066 OPS, including two home runs in six games, against the Tampa Bay Rays and the World Series,” he said.
It is still worth having expectations in terms of performance and skills. U.S. media The Score predicted Turner as the fourth batter and designated hitter, revealing the Toronto batting order for the 2024 season as George Springer right fielder, Bo Bissett quicketer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. first baseman, Justin Turner designated hitter, Dalton Basho left fielder, Cavan Biggio second baseman, Ishiya Kiner-Palepa third baseman, Alejandro Kirk possession and Kevin Kiermaier midfielder. 안전놀이터
Turner still has high expectations as he has shown a batting average of 0.276 154 hits in 558 at-bats in 146 games with 23 home runs, 96 RBIs, 86 runs and an OPS of 0.800. “Turner has recorded an on-base percentage of 0.352 over the past three seasons, another strength of Brandon Belt, who played for Toronto last year, and the ability Toronto needs now,” MLB stressed. “For a slugger like Guerrero Jr. to survive, someone needs to be there in front of him.”