Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Toronto Blue Jays have been floated in talks with several high-priced free agents this offseason, making a strong effort to add some punch to their lineup.
Early on in free agency, there was a lot of smoke about their involvement in their pursuit of then-free agent Shohei Ohtani. They even appeared to be the favorite at one point in the negotiations with speculation he was heading to Toronto to sign a contract.
Prior to the two-way star joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Blue Jays were also reportedly among teams to agree to his proposed 10-year contract pitch.
But after missing out, Toronto has been on the lookout for offensive additions and momentum toward them signing a right-handed bat with J.D. Martinez being one of the rumored options.
But on Tuesday, the Blue Jays reportedly signed former Boston Red Sox and Dodgers infielder Justin Turner to a one-year contract, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 30, 2024
After nine seasons with the Dodgers, Turner joined the Red Sox prior to the 2023 season. In 146 games, he batted .276/.345/.455 with 23 home runs, 96 RBI, 86 runs scored with a 114 OPS+.
Turner fills a need for the Blue Jays, who struggled mightily to find consistent at-bats without severe swing-and-miss issues.
Justin Turner’s recent production
With the Red Sox, Turner posted one of his best seasons from a run-production standpoint. His remarkable consistency to maintain a solid batting average was again replicated as he posted back-to-back seasons with a .278 batting average from 2021-to-2022.
Turner’s career strikeout-rate in 15 Major League seasons is 15.2%, and in year-15 he finished at 17.6%.
But his uptick in strikeouts can be backed up in is dominance in a Red Sox lineup that required run producers, a job the 39-year-old will continue with the Blue Jays in 2024.
Dating back to 2019, Turners owns a combined 125 wRC+ with an .827 on-base plus slugging. In that same span, he carries fairly even platoon splits versus both right-handed (124 wRC+) and left-handed pitching (127 wRC+).
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!