The St. Louis Cardinals could be on their way to signing their first free agent of 2017 offseason. Third baseman Justin Turner has been reported to be receiving interest from the Cards.
According to Jon Morosi, reporter for MLB Network and FOX, the St. Louis Cardinals have interest in signing free agent Justin Turner. Turner, who played for the Dodgers in the 2016 season, has primarily been positioned at third base, but has experience at every infield position. Though Turner may not be a household name across the MLB, this is a player that could potentially have a decent impact for the Redbirds.
As far as hitting goes, Turner is one of the best hitters that isn’t really at the superstar caliber quite yet. In 2016, he hit .275/.339/.493, while driving in 90 runs in 151 games. Those number aren’t staggering, but they do provide some insight that suggests that Turner can be an everyday player that can consistently get the job done. One exciting number from the 2016 season is the 27 home runs that Turner provided, showing that he has a good amount of power behind his swing.
Looking further back, 2014 and 2015 were Turner’s breakout years where he batted .314/.384/492 combined. Though these numbers came in only 235 games total, it shows a glimpse of what kind of player Justin Turner could be for the Cardinals. With a career batting average of .282, this could be an interesting move if St. Louis decides to scoop up the infielder.
One benefit of picking up a player like Justin Turner is the way that he can fill many different positions in the infield. The primary reason that the Cardinals are looking Turner’s way is likely for him to fill the third base role, with Matt Carpenter moving to first base, but Turner is the type of player that the Cardinals like having on the roster.
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With experience at first, second and shortstop, Cardinals fans have grown to understand that the Redbirds don’t usually keep their infielders in a single position. So whether you like it or not, this is probably a factor in why the Cardinals are interested in Turner.
One possibility that a Justin Turner deal creates is the moving of Jhonny Peralta. Peralta, who mostly played third base for the Cardinals last season, would most likely be involved in a trade if St. Louis were to make a move for Turner. Aledmys Diaz will be the full-time shortstop which would leave Peralta without a position to play. Though it may be too early to discuss which trade candidates the Cardinals are interested in, one name that has been thrown in social media talks is Adam Eaton.
Though we don’t know exactly what John Mozeliak’s plan is for the 2017 Cardinals, a move to pick up Justin Turner could certainly stir the pot. If Turner is a piece of a larger puzzle to move Jhonny Peralta in a trade, Cardinals fans should prepare to see some new faces on the field next season.
What does Cardinal Nation think about Justin Turner in a Redbird jersey? He has the ability to be a game changer and play the hot corner for the forseeable future. Is he worth pursuing despite losing a draft pick since the qualifying offer was attached to him? And if so, what happens to Jhonny Peralta?