Trade Deadline Target #3: Red Sox 3B Justin Turner
Could this finally be the time the Milwaukee Brewers land Justin Turner? They've been after him for years, nearly signing him a few years ago, only to watch him go back to the Dodgers on a similar deal. Then he opted to head back into free agency last offseason and the Brewers were once again interested but ultimately did not sign him.
Since the Red Sox are in last place in a very competitive AL East, they are looking like sellers. A veteran like Turner is exactly the type of player that typically ends up on the move at the deadline and is one the Brewers could be looking for.
Turner is still a productive bat, hitting .279 with 16 doubles, 11 homers, an .806 OPS and a 116 OPS+. His defense at third base isn't what it once was, and he's started playing some first base this year as well. That's likely where he would fit in in Milwaukee but he can also DH if the Brewers prefer to keep their top defensive alignment on the field. Turner would be an upgrade over Jesse Winker presently.
The main issue with acquiring the 38 year old veteran slugger is not the prospect cost, but the contract. Turner signed a two year, $21.7MM contract last offseason. He's making $8.3MM this year and has a player option for $13.4MM for next year. The Brewers would be on the hook for that if they choose to acquire him. If Turner declines his player option, he would still be due $6.7MM. While the Brewers may not want to pay Turner eight figures next year, if he keeps playing at this pace, he may opt out anyway.
Perhaps the Brewers could get the Red Sox to kick in some cash for that deal, but that would likely mean a higher prospect cost. The payoff may be worth finally getting Turner in a Brewers uniform as he's remained productive into his late 30s.