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The Blue Jays are reportedly nearing a deal with Justin Turner

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Cam Lewis
5 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays are nearing a contract with free agent Justin Turner, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Former MLB All-Star Carlos Baerga also posted to his Instagram on Monday night that the Blue Jays and Turner had reached an agreement and that a contract would be signed on Tuesday.
Now 39 years old, Turner is coming off a strong season with the Boston Red Sox, in which he posted a .276 batting average and .800 OPS with 23 home runs and 96 RBIs over 626 plate appearances. He inked a two-year, $21.7 million contract with the team in free agency last winter and opted to decline his $13.4 million player option for 2024 in favour of a $6.7 million buyout and another shot at the open market.
Turner was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB Draft and he made his big league debut a few years later after being traded to the Baltimore Orioles. The versatile righty became an everyday Major League player with the New York Mets, who claimed him off of waivers in May of 2010.
After a few seasons as a bench player on the Mets, Turner was granted free agency and signed with the L.A. Dodgers. In his first year in Los Angeles in 2014, Turner broke out with a .340 batting average and a .897 OPS across 322 plate appearances. He became a mainstay in the heart of the Dodgers’ lineup for the better part of the next decade, was named to the National League All-Star team in 2017 and 2021, and won the World Series in 2020.
During those years with the Dodgers, Turner was a bat-first infielder with a solid glove at third base. At this point in his career, Turner is likely to play a similar role to what Brandon Belt had on the Blue Jays last year, which will see him split time between first base and designated hitter while also pinch-hitting against lefties late in games.
Last week, Bo Bichette was interviewed on Sportsnet’s Baker and Blair and mentioned that he’d like the team to add a veteran hitter or two to help the team “not just on the field but off the field as well.” He specifically mentioned Turner and J.D. Martinez as two of the ideal fits who were still available.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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