The Milwaukee Brewers have made a contract offer to free agent third baseman Justin Turner.
We’ve known the Brewers have needed a third base upgrade all offseason and Turner has been the big fish on the market the whole time.
According to Jon Heyman, both the Dodgers and the Brewers currently have contract offers out and on the table to Justin Turner. Both of the contract offers cover multiple years.
In Heyman’s report, he notes the Brewers are “hopeful” about their chances to sign Turner. While clearly the underdog in this race, considering the Crew’s payroll constraints and the fact that the other team in the bidding is his previous team, there appears to be a definite chance Turner becomes a Brewer.
In all likelihood, the Brewers will have to beat the Dodgers offer in order to sign him. If both offers are even, Turner would most likely go back to LA. But by how much would they have to beat it?
Brewers contract offer out to Justin Turner could indicate a larger ability to spend than previously thought.
Given Turner’s statistics, postseason experience, and leadership ability, he’d obviously be a great addition to the clubhouse. In Robert Murray’s “Inside The Clubhouse” column this week, he notes this about the Crew’s thinking regarding Turner:
"Turner was a vocal leader for the Dodgers, with Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times noting that it was Turner and Mookie Betts who spoke at a team meeting a day before the postseason opener in 2020. He was ingrained in the community and became one of Los Angeles’ “most prominent citizens through his charitable endeavors.”On the field, Turner has a knack for performing at his best in the postseason. He is a .295/.392/.507 hitter in 72 career playoff games. In the World Series last season, he hit .320 with two home runs.It has led some inside the Brewers organization to wonder if he could have an impact similar to Mike Moustakas, but one team executive cautioned that it is “unlikely” Turner leaves Los Angeles."
The Brewers went after Mike Moustakas in 2018 even though they already had a good third baseman in Travis Shaw because of the impact Moose would bring in the clubhouse as a veteran leader who had been in big spots in the postseason before. Turner would bring a similar clubhouse presence.
While there may be some concerns that Turner will slow down offensively over the next few years since he’s 36 years old, he can still bring a lot of value to the Brewers even if he doesn’t continue to have seasons with a 150 OPS+.
The Brewers are willing to go multiple years for Turner
This is another interesting note. Previously, when good players were being undervalued on the free agent market, the Brewers would swoop in with a lucrative one year offer and make the deal. That’s what they did with Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas in 2019. Stearns continued the one year deal strategy, albeit with lower impact players, in 2020.
Even though Turner is 36, the Brewers are willing to go multiple years for him. Murray noted in his column that teams are hesitant to give Turner a three year deal, which is what he’s looking for.
This is *purely speculation* on my part, but I would guess the Brewers offer has two guaranteed years with either a club or mutual option for a third year. That’s the kind of contract they signed Kolten Wong to recently.
Perhaps Turner might try to push some more for a third guaranteed year, but time will tell. We’re getting close to spring training and although that isn’t a hard deadline, most players would like to sign with a team before that starts so they don’t end up behind the rest of the group as the season gets started.
The Brewers have an offer on the table. Stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew as we’ll keep you covered and up to date on the Turner market.