The Milwaukee Brewers have gotten creative with their self-imposed budget, deferring most of recent signee Kolten Wong’s $7 mil base salary for the coming season to a time down the road. There has been speculation that could mean addition moves for the Brewers before the regular season begins, and the team continues to be heavily connected to free agent third baseman Justin Turner. According to reports from Robert Murray and Jon Heyman, Milwaukee has made a multi-year offer to Turner, and a competitive one at that.
Brewers’ multi-year offer to Turner is said to be competitive. The Dodgers remain the favorite, and one source believes it is “unlikely” he leaves LA, but the Brewers are hopeful. https://t.co/8eVLJ6Y6T2— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) February 13, 2021
Murray recently wrote in his regular column for Fansided that “[t]he Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites to sign Turner and have been for most of the offseason, but the longer he remains on the market, the greater the chance he plays elsewhere next season.” Murray suggests that Turner’s age, injury history, and ability to continue playing at third base if there is no universal DH have hindered his quest for a big multi-year contract. According to Murray, the right-handed hitter is seeking a three-year pact on the open market. Murray also suggests that his vocal leadership and involvement in the community has some inside the Brewers’ org thinking that Turner could have a similar impact to Mike Moustakas in the clubhouse.
Also notable is that it seems much of Milwaukee’s interest in Turner may be coming from the top. Owner Mark Attanasio has gotten involved in player personnel moves in the past, most notably with deals for Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, and Francisco Rodriguez while Doug Melvin was the General Manager. But he has seemingly stepped back from that kind of participation under the David Stearns regime, perhaps until now.
Mets interested in free-agent 3B Justin Turner, but parties not matching up on years/dollars, sources tell @TheAthletic. NYM also not sure what J.D. Davis might bring in a trade. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio intrigued by Turner as well. Dodgers (2-year deal?) remain best bet.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 9, 2021
After consecutive playoff berths in 2018-19 brought about by high-impact acquisitions like Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, and Yasmani Grandal, Slingin’ Stearns remade the roster last offseason by slashing payroll some 25% and finding bounce back candidates to hand major roles for the 2020 season. It worked, inasmuch as the team made the postseason again — but only as the 8th and final seed in the expanded playoffs after finishing 29-31 with one of the worst offenses in baseball.
Perhaps last year’s middling performance after what many fans considered a disappointing offseason has spurred Attanasio to become more involved once again. He is the one writing the checks, after all. The Brewers need a third baseman and Justin Turner is the best one out there. MLB Trade Rumors predicted that Turner would receive a two-year, $24 mil deal in free agency this winter. If Mark A. is willing to open up the wallet for a player that he wants, can Stearns and Matt Arnold really say no?