With Justin Turner resigning with the Dodgers almost a week ago, the many rumors and possibilities of departure were confirmed to be moot. While there were intriguing destinations to be had, with rumors especially focused on Milwaukee (it’s pronounced “mill-e-wah-que” which is Algonquin for “the good land”), the little part of me that cared really wasn’t in doubt. Los Angeles is a big fan of Turner, and the feeling was always mutual, and with the Dodgers, he’s been an overall boon considering the long and interesting path to lineup anchor. Hitting .292/.369/.469 with the Dodgers overall and producing a good but unspectacular COVID showing hitting .307/.400/.460 in 42 games on their way to a championship, there are several ripple effects from this resigning that while expected, still should be analyzed and contextualized. Kinda like how I make love.
So, the ripple effects. We should just get them out of the way because even the phrase “ripple effects” seems concerning. Especially when you’re either talking about space-time or gas. But that’s neither here nor there, unless you’re an astronaut who’s farty. The first player with the short end of the stick would appear to be Edwin Rios and you know, I’d probably be focusing on Rios at this very moment as a potential sleeper. As a sixth-round draft pick in 2015, he’s slashed an impressive .295/.348/.539 with 95 home runs, but an average walk rate of 7.5%. But the power is real, and before Tuner’s return, Rios was slated by many to be the starting third baseman and give a go to earning 500+ plate appearances. Now? The power will be there, but with there being some issues against left-handed pictures, there just might not be enough here for Rios quite yet to buy.
Will Smith, not to be confused with Jayden Smith’s dad, had a very strong 2020 season, both in plate discipline and power, somewhat confirming what he did in 2019. Now granted, Turner’s affect on Smith shouldn’t be too expansive, after all, they do play different positions, but something worth mentioning is batting order. Going into the year, Turner might just push Smith off a middle of the order spot being a right-handed hitter. There also might be scenarios where the Dodgers might get too cute and put out defensive alignments that have Max Muncy at third base and Turner at first, but I’m not sure it would happen enough to warrant any fantasy changes.
Gavin Lux? Talking about Max Muncy at first, he might just play some second base to get the aforementioned Rios into the lineup, which moves Lux closer to Chris Taylor territory rather than the sweet land of starting at-bats. Now, I’d be remiss to state that Lux is still a top-5 prospect and deserves your attention, but again, ripple effects dude. Plenty of talent here, but again, like every other player I’ve listed so far, has been affected in someway by this resigning.
And lastly, while I actually do stay away from these types of tangents when writing about sports, I want everyone to keep in mind that this is the same Justin Turner who had just learned that he was COVID positive, ignored MLB protocol and returned to the field during the World Series, without a mask, to celebrate with his team and was photographed, still without a mask sitting next to his nearly 50 year old manager. Whether or not you agree or disagree that by not wearing a mask in such a scenario means that you are either willfully ignorant, massively selfish, or just plain sadistic, I’m just merely pointing out that without MLB discipline with this matter, Turner could be considered a slight COVID risk. Now, I’m not going to sit here and seriously say that this should be a determining factor or part of any factor in your process for playing a fantasy baseball game, but I personally want to point it out because of this incident, I do question Turner’s judgement. I do question his leadership. But quite frankly, I will never question someone drafting, owning, and winning or losing with a team that has him on it. Wild roller coaster of emotions, I know.
I’m just saying that he’s not for me. And judging from the list of names on the rest of the Dodgers roster we talked about, his resigning seems to have had the same effect. Buy him for what he is, but keep in mind what you’re buying around him, and make sure that Turner’s affect is baked into that value.
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him @jaywrong.