The right kind of infield upgrade 2.0
I’m all for the idea that the Blue Jays needed to improve on their third baseman after Travis Shaw’s very average performance in 2020. However, just as I said about chasing someone like Simmons, it needs to be the right fit. For that reason, I’m not terribly interested in the Blue Jays trying to sign Justin Turner.
I say that for a few reasons. First, I’m not sure that he addresses the need to improve defensively in 2020. He’s a reasonable defender at the hot corner, but he’s regressed with the glove as he’s aged, posting negative dWAR marks in both 2019 and 2020. There’s also been talk about the veteran eventually needing to move to first base, which sounds a lot like the situation they’re already massaging with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. I’m not sure that bringing the potential for a redundant problem is the best strategy.
There’s also the fact that Turner is a right-handed hitter, which isn’t ideal. That’s getting a little picky, but in reality the Blue Jays would be much better off if they can add an elite left-handed stick to the mix instead. Charlie Montoyo showed that he values that balance in 2020, and with just Cavan Biggio and Rowdy Tellez hitting from the left side, Turner adds to the strength from the right. That’s not to suggest that the Jays would be better off with Shaw simply because he hits from the left side, but it’s a consideration.
Finally, and on a more personal note, I’m not a huge fan of the way that Turner acted when the Dodgers won the World Series this year. I absolutely understand that he wanted to celebrate with his teammates, and that it was a moment that he couldn’t have back for another time, but after being removed from that game because of a positive Covid-19 test, it was just irresponsible of him to come back out on the field. Thankfully it doesn’t sound like anything came of it, but that doesn’t make it okay. I was disappointed that the league didn’t at least fine him after everything they went through to have a season in 2020, and selfishly, I’d rather not reckon with it if he were to sign in Toronto. I’d get over it, but as someone who has lost family members during the pandemic, I’d rather not.