Justin Turner reveals why the Dodgers declined his 2023 team option

Justin Turner reveals why the Dodgers declined his 2023 team option

Is this Justin Turner understanding how does the business of Major League Baseball work…or is he expressing frustration with the Los Angeles Dodgers? Maybe that’s up to the fans to interpret his latest interview with AM 570 LA Sports.

Turner appeared on local radio to discuss that the Dodgers declined his team option for the 2023 season, resulting in a $2 million buyout for the slugger (the option was worth $16 million of dollars).

But while Turner did technically reveal why the team went in that direction, there still wasn’t much clarity. And Turner himself doesn’t really know where he stands even after talking to Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts.

Turner may feel a certain way because the Dodgers are “trying to figure out what to do” before making a decision on someone who has been with the organization through its most successful baseball era in history. franchise?

Either way, Turner told Petros and Money that the front office is sorting things out with the payroll/luxury tax situation as they determine the next steps in terms of free agency or trade.

Justin Turner reveals why the Dodgers declined his 2023 team option

Again, he seemed content to wait out the Dodgers’ process, so probably no hard feelings. Turner has been in the league for 14 years and has a deep understanding of the business side of the sport, so he’s not blind to any of this.

He reiterated that he loves being a Dodger and has been through these types of situations before heading into the 2020 season when there were several other financial concerns stemming from the pandemic (and the $365 million extension given to Mookie Betts ).

So the Dodgers only have $116 million committed to the 2023 payroll, so what are their concerns? Returning Turner shouldn’t exactly make or break his CBT situation unless several high-end free agents are considered.

Not paying Cody Bellinger ~$18 million for the 2023 season is something that should be a reasonable conundrum for the Dodgers. Bellinger has been worth a 1.5 WAR since the start of 2020. Paying less for Turner, who is much more integral to the cultural fabric of the organization, seems like a less pressing issue.

After a disastrous first half to 2022, Turner bounced back and finished with a .788 OPS and 116 OPS+. He’s been worth a 7.2 WAR since the start of 2020. That seems less of a “business decision” and more of a “shake things up” decision, if you ask the fans.

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