Washington Nationals roster: Rethinking signing Justin Turner

Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his RBI double in front of Yan Gomes #10 of the Washington Nationals, to take a 6-1 lead, during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his RBI double in front of Yan Gomes #10 of the Washington Nationals, to take a 6-1 lead, during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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How good did Justin Turner look in the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout this weekend? How good would Turner have looked in a Washington Nationals jersey, sitting in the visitor’s dugout this weekend? If the Nationals had known Carter Kieboom was going to flame out in spring training they’d have been smart to persue Turner a little harder in free agency. Or would they have?

Hindsight is 20/20, however. Multiply those two numbers together, add 12, and that is what Turner was hitting entering yesterday’s game with the Nationals.. His home run in the series opener broke a scoreless tie in the sixth innings and sent the Dodgers to a 1-0 win. The first two games of the series he had five hits (including three of the extra base variety) adding to his league leading 14.

Instead of relying on Carter Kieboom, the Washington Nationals could have persued free agent third baseman Justin Turner last offseason.

While the Nationals were busy adding Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber to their roster, Justin Turner was sitting unemployed following his World Series season with the Dodgers. Rumors swirled about who the Nationals were going to acquire to be their third baseman to start the 2021 season. Kris Bryant, Eugenio Suarez, Turner, were all being tossed around.

Choosing to go with the in-house option of Kieboom, has stung a little, considering he didn’t make the team out of spring training. Seeing Turner get off to a hot start, is like sprinkling a little salt in that wound.

When the Nationals were considering Turner over the offseason, there had to have been two glaring issues looking them back in the face. Turner’s price tag and his age. Turner is 36 years old and has a lot of mileage on his body, though has not shown signs of decline in recent years. Considering his OPS of .860 last year was his lowest since the 2016 season, yet still three hundred points higher than what Kieboom produced, he would have been a sizable upgrade.

Turner signed for $34M over two years to return to the Dodgers. Devoting this much money to the 13-year veteran would have meant financial repercussions for the Nationals. As they sit now, they are under the luxury tax threshold. Also, the money saved by not splurging on Turner can be allocated to either Juan Soto, Trea Turner, or Max Scherzer, who are all looking for extensions in the near future. Scherzer is a free agent this offseason and could benefit from the Nationals flexibility without having Turner locked down.

Next. Good, bad, and ugly from Dodgers series. dark

Early returns suggest the Nationals could have used Turner’s bat in the lineup, as they have struggled to find any offensive consistency thus far on the season. However, if you ask the Nationals, they are probably happy with their decision not to bring in Justin Turner.

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