Dodgers decline $16M club option on All-Star Justin Turner

Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images
6 Comments

The Los Angeles Dodgers have declined their $16 million option on two-time All-Star Justin Turner.

The team also said Thursday it extended qualifying offers to two All-Stars, shortstop Trea Turner and left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson.

Also not receiving a qualifying offer for the second straight year was Clayton Kershaw. As a result, the left-hander will have additional time to consider his future rather than make a decision at the beginning of free agency. The Dodgers did the same thing last year, and Kershaw signed a one-year deal.

Justin Turner will receive a $2 million buyout. The 37-year-old third baseman could still re-sign with the Dodgers for next year, although likely at a lower salary than the $16 million he would have received if the team had exercised its option. During his nine seasons in Los Angeles, he has been a fan favorite and active in the community.

Turner hit .278 with 13 homers and 81 RBIs in 128 games after slumping early in the season. From the All-Star break on, he batted .340 before going 2 for 13 in the National League Division Series, where the Dodgers were eliminated.

Turner was named MVP of the 2017 National League Championship Series, earned All-Star honors in 2017 and 2021 and helped the Dodgers win the World Series during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season.

Earlier this month, Turner received the Roberto Clemente Award, which honors MLB players for their philanthropic efforts.

Trea Turner batted .298 in a team-high 160 games, with 100 RBIs, 21 home runs, 101 runs scored and 27 stolen bases. It was his third 100-plus run season and his first with 100-plus RBIs.

Anderson was 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA in 30 appearances, including 28 starts last season. The 32-year-old pitcher recorded 138 strikeouts and 34 walks. He finished the first half of the season with a 10-1 record and a 2.96 ERA.

The Dodgers had already declined 2023 options on infielder Hanser Alberto and right-hander Jimmy Nelson.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.