The Dodgers didn’t trade Justin Turner, but he went to the Red Sox to be their designated hitter a day after Boston’s old DH, JD Martinez, signed with Los Angeles. So it’s not quite a trade, but it’s close enough to draw some comparisons and see who won and lost the non-trade.
Over at ESPN, Bradford Doolittle and David Schoenfield have done just that, and after comparing their remarkably similar careers — both made swing changes between 2013 and 2014 and became elite hitters, and they had almost identical OPS+ numbers last year — Schoenfield comes to the conclusion that L.A. came out slightly ahead in the deal.
I guess given the difference in age, I would give Martinez the edge on bounce-back potential or at least keeping level, and getting him on a one-year deal as opposed to two is an advantage. The Dodgers still have to figure out their infield. They would love for rookie Miguel Vargas to take over at third base, but they clearly weren’t quite ready to just hand him the position and let Max Muncy DH (but Muncy might have to play second base if Gavin Lux slides over to shortstop). One thing for sure: Dodgers fans will miss a fan favorite and that kind of stinks.
Martinez is nearly three years younger than Turner, so the hope is that JD’s performance dip in 2022 was a down year rather than a true decline. In the end, though, it was probably the one-year commitment that got the deal done. If JT had been willing to take a one-year, $10 million deal like JD did, he might still be in Dodger blue.
Or maybe Martinez was who the Dodgers wanted all along and JT was only the backup plan. You can’t blame a guy for going out and getting the bag in that case.
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