Dodgers third baseman — yes, he’s still the third baseman mind you — Justin Turner joined the Petros and Money radio show on AM570 on Wednesday and touched on several topics in his first full interview since October.
One topic was a headline that has followed Turner and the Dodgers all off-season long, or at least until Anthony Rendon agreed to a contract with the Anaheim Angels. Yes, we’ve heard for months that the veteran would be fine with a move to first base if it meant importing elite talent at the hot corner.
Now Turner clarified some things.
— AM 570 LA Sports (@AM570LASports) December 19, 2019
First, the question is asked about the potential move to 1B, “how did that come up, and did anybody ever bring it up to you?” Did Turner’s thoughts come across accurately? He first shared his thoughts on the idea of a move being out of his hands.
I think it got blown a little out proportion. I mean, I’m a team guy — I’ll do whatever it takes to win like I said — I just want to win a championship.
At the end of the day, it’s not my job to decide who’s coming in here and playing, and who’s playing where. That’s Dave’s [Roberts] job, and it’s Andrew’s [Friedman] job to sign free agents and all that…
Regardless of how I felt I was going to haven’t a choice. If they signed Rendon and Dave wants me to play first, I’m gonna to play first I don’t have a choice.
But the money quote came after the setup.
I didn’t actually say it.
For more than two months the impression has been that JT would welcome the move to first if it meant winning. And while that may be true in spirit, he wasn’t ready to pack up his bags for the move across the diamond to first base.
In fact, it was a media spin on a halfhearted statement he made while the Dodgers were still playing the Washington Nationals… and Anthony Rendon.
I actually got approached by a reporter … he came up and asked me about Rendon being a free agent and whether or not I want him to come to LA and I’m like, ‘dude, we’re about to go play against this guy — I don’t have time to talk about this’ and I kind of left at ‘look, I’ve played all over the place my whole career — whatever happens happens and I’ll adjust’ and I think the headline to the story was ‘Justin Turner agrees to move to first base.’
So is the door closed on Justin Turner, Dodgers first baseman? He never actively said that he does not want to play first, but you read between the lines and he has no desire to make the move.
The off-season is far from over, and Friedman and company remain active in options to upgrade the club — several of which alter the makeup of the infield. While there’s time between now and mid-February, one fact remains…
You shouldn’t read too much into each headline and rumor you see.