Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Dodgers fortify infield with Justin Turner
By Mark Saxon
Speaking to reporters Saturday at FanFest, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he expected to have a utility infielder signed within the next five days. Four days later, he had his man.
The Dodgers signed Justin Turner to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training Wednesday, putting him in the mix to be the team’s primary utility infielder. Dee Gordon, Chone Figgins, Brendan Harris and minor leaguer Miguel Rojas also have designs on that job.
Turner, 29, was non-tendered by the New York Mets in December. He hit .280 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in 200 at-bats last season. Turner generally fares well in defensive metrics. He is a career .263 hitter.
Turned has played all four infield positions over five major league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and Mets, a key advantage since the Dodgers enter 2014 with an unproven second baseman, Alex Guerrero, and an injury-prone shortstop, Hanley Ramirez.
Turner is a native of Long Beach, Calif., and played college baseball at Cal State Fullerton. He was a seventh-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2006.