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Dodgers acquire Drew Jackson and Aneurys Zabala from Mariners for Chase De Jong

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The Dodgers and Mariners swapped some minor leaguers on Wednesday evening. The Dodgers announced the acquisition of infielder Drew Jackson and pitcher Aneurys Zabala from the Mariners in exchange for pitcher Chase De Jong.

Jackson, 23, was the Mariners’ top infield prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He was selected by the Mariners in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. Last year, at High-A Bakersfield, Jackson hit .258/.332/.345 with six home runs, 47 RBI, 87 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 598 plate appearances as a shortstop. Jackson is known for having plenty of speed and a strong arm.

Zabala, 20, spent last season with the Mariners’ rookie ball team. He made 16 relief appearances spanning 25 innings, putting up a 2.88 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio. The Mariners signed him as an international free agent in April 2014.

De Jong, 23, was rated as the Dodgers’ 16th-best prospect and seventh-best pitching prospect by MLB Pipeline. The Blue Jays selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft. De Jong spent last year mostly with Double-A Tulsa, posting a 2.86 ERA with a 125/39 K/BB ratio in 141 2/3 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City in September and made one solid start.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.