Earlier this week, I wrote an article on how the Toronto Blue Jays lucked out by not signing various free agents this past off-season because of how well they preforming this season and/or some having issues off the field. Players who made this list included Trevor Bauer, Jake Odorizzi, and a few others that cost some serious money but would have not made the Blue Jays a better team given the reasons stated above.
While Ross Atkins and co. added some big pieces to the current squad like George Springer, Marcus Semien, and Robbie Ray, there were a few free agents that the Blue Jays did not sign who could have helped the club this season.
Whether or not the front office presented a contract offer and was turned down or was just kicking the tires on various players with no serious interest, the teams these players signed with are reaping the benefits of having them this season when they could have potentially helped the Blue Jays sit higher in the standings.
Fresh off a World Series win the Los Angeles Dodgers, Justin Turner was one of the top names at third base who was available this past off-season. Not many believed that he would leave L.A. but he explored his options when he was a free agent.
With the Dodgers last year, Turner slashed .307/.400/.460 with four home runs and 23 RBI and for his career owns a .290/.368/.469 line with 147 home runs, 569 RBI, and a .837 OPS. He’s been around for 13 seasons and while he spent time with the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles earlier in his career, he really hit his stride with the Dodgers.
The interest from the Blue Jays in Turner was very evident behind closed doors, explained by the third baseman himself on Chris Rose’s Rotation, “From about a week out of the season ending, I was in contact with the Blue Jays had a lot of conversations with the Blue Jays. And there was a point where I thought I was gonna receive an offer from the Blue Jays before I’ve even gotten a phone call from the Dodgers,” Turner said. “So that was a little had me a little nervous, actually, you know, like, what, what do I do if I have a great offer from a team and I haven’t even heard from the Dodgers yet?”
Eventually, the Jays would sign Marcus Semien to a one-year deal and the 36-year-old would return to California in Dodger blue, signing a 2-year, $34 million dollar deal with a $16 million dollar club option for a third year.
So far this campaign, Turner owns a .276/.367/.466 with a .832 OPS and earned an all-star nod for the Midsummer Classic alongside 23 home runs. With the Blue Jays rotating through a number of different options at the hot corner this year, it would have been nice to have his experience and bat on the roster this season but the dollar value was most likely too high to bring him North of the border, leading to the club giving the hot corner reigns to Cavan Biggio before his injury troubles.