The Los Angeles Dodgers are close to re-signing infielder Justin Turner, as ESPN's Buster Olney first reported.
Though the deal is not yet completed, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Turner will earn a four-year, $64 million deal when they reach an agreement.
There was not a ton of doubt that Turner would not return to the Dodgers this offseason, though the St. Louis Cardinals reportedly showed at least some interest. The extent of that, and whether they went for a full pursuit, remained unknown.
It's been quite a career for Turner, who had been a bench player his entire career before breaking out with the Dodgers in 2014. In fact, when he first joined Los Angeles, he had signed a minor league deal. But three great seasons since have made him a valuable piece there.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected Turner to earn $85 million on his new deal, so it appears possible that he may have taken less than what he was worth to stay in Los Angeles.
As for Los Angeles, they did explore other options in the event that Turner signed elsewhere. Brian Dozier and Todd Frazier were names that did pop up, and in fact, the former could still land in L.A. even with Turner close to re-upping his deal.
But after re-signing Kenley Jansen earlier today, the Dodgers' 2017 payroll is projected to be around $220 million. Suprisingly, this could check in less than the $240+ million figure they spent in 2016. The team is known for one of the biggest payrolls in baseball, so seeing numbers this large is not out of the ordinary.
Turner's development into stardom has been quite something.
In 2016, he was worth 5.6 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs. He posted a .275/.339/.493 with 27 home runs and 90 RBI, playing third base for them.