Brewers Rumors: Crew Reportedly A “Mystery Team” For Justin Turner
By David Gasper
Well, well, well, it turns out Brewers president of baseball ops David Stearns does dream big from time to time. It turns out, they have been quietly involved in talks to sign Justin Turner.
At least, the report from Jon Heyman says that.
Heyman gives the Brewers the title of “mystery team” but now the secret appears to be out and it’s a mystery no more. Stearns loves being the mystery team but he can’t always stay secret.
It’s hard not to see why the Brewers would be interested in Justin Turner from a baseball standpoint. He’s been a highly successful third baseman for a number of years with the Dodgers, came up big against them in the 2018 NLCS, and has come up big in several postseasons for Los Angeles.
The Brewers need to improve the third base position, and adding Justin Turner would certainly do that. Over the past four seasons, Turner has a .307/.397/.513 slash line with 66 home runs and a 142 OPS+. He is the exact type of on-base threat and power threat the Brewers need at the hot corner.
The issue, as it seems to always be with the Crew’s free agent pursuits, is the contract demands. Turner is known to be looking for a four year contract this winter, and even the Dodgers, the team that knows him best, only appears to be willing to go two years, according to other reports. Would the Brewers really go long-term with Turner, who is heading into his age-36 season?
A four year deal is unlikely, and even on a shorter contract, the annual salary Turner would likely command also might be a little out of the Crew’s reach. Unless the Brewers are all of a sudden willing to extend a little more for the 2021 season, the expectation is that they won’t have the budget to afford him.
Stranger things have happened, however, and Stearns might be able to work some magic. He’s likely staying involved in the market, hoping to see the price fall far enough in order to make a deal work. If Turner’s demands continue to drop, perhaps we could see him in a Brewers uniform this season.
The fit on the field is perfect for what the Brewers need. But can they make Turner fit into the payroll? That’s going to be the question.
This marks two free agent rumors in one day for Milwaukee, a welcome sight after nearly nothing for the last two months. Perhaps this means the Brewers are getting close to something happening.