It just wasn't meant to be between the Milwaukee Brewers and Justin Turner.
After making a strong effort to sign Justin Turner two years ago and having interest once more this offseason in bringing the veteran slugger to Milwaukee, the Brewers were unable to sign Turner to a contract this offseason. Instead, Turner has signed with the Boston Red Sox.
According to reports, Turner signed a two year, $22MM deal with Boston that includes an opt out after the first year.
The Brewers miss out on signing one of their free agent targets in Justin Turner.
Third base is a position that could use an upgrade for the Brewers heading into 2023. The front office doesn't view it as an urgent need and they won't be in too bad of a spot with Luis Urias back at the hot corner, but they know there's room to upgrade, which is why they were interested in Justin Turner in the first place.
Even at 38 years old, Justin Turner can still hit at a high level and would have presented an upgrade for Milwaukee at the position.
Ultimately, he signed with the Boston Red Sox on a contract that's actually reasonable and the Brewers could've or should've been able to match it if they really wanted to.
Two years and $22MM is well within the Brewers budget. They've dropped payroll significantly so far this offseason and are $21MM under where their payroll stood last year. Turner would've eaten up a good chunk of that and still left some room for further additions.
What may have complicated things for the Brewers is the player opt out after the first year. Typically players exercise that opt out when they have a good season and they only decline to opt out if they're coming off a bad season. If Turner were to have a bad season at 38 years old, it's unlikely you'll see a bounce back in the age-39 season to follow. That would put the Brewers at some risk of being stuck with two bad years of an aging third baseman. However, that's assuming an immediate decline in Turner's bat, which we've yet to see evidence of.
There would've been risk in the Brewers signing him, yes, and Turner would likely have had to spend a decent amount of time at DH, which would've meant Jesse Winker would have to either sit the bench or play the outfield. But there's also a good chance Turner continues to play well and if you take that chance, you could get a really good season out of him that would help out this team tremendously. If he opts out after one year, then he opts out.
In the end, another Brewers pursuit of Turner goes for naught. He signed with Boston and the Brewers will have to look elsewhere if they want to upgrade the hot corner. There are still a number of possibilities they could pursue.