In the weeks following his signing with the Boston Red Sox final month, Justin Turner began receiving presumptuous items of mail to his Southland dwelling.
“We had like six or seven letters in our mailbox from realtors saying, ‘Hey, we want to sell your house,’” Turner recalled with fun. “It was like, whoa, no one said we are boxing up and leaving.”
But after an ungainly finish to his memorable nine-year tenure with the Dodgers this winter, the Southern California native nonetheless was adjusting to the actual fact Los Angeles is not his skilled dwelling.
“It’s still fairly fresh,” Turner stated throughout a charity occasion Sunday, his first public look in L.A. since finalizing his two-year, $22-million contract with the Red Sox.
“You hear that from a lot of guys, how tough free agency is,” he added. “I think everyone has this picture in their mind of what they want or how they think it is gonna go. It just never really goes according to plan.”
Indeed, staying with the Dodgers had been Plan A for Turner getting into the offseason.
Even although the membership declined his $16-million possibility for 2023, the 38-year-old publicly said his need to work out a brand new deal. Having twice negotiated free-agent contracts to stay with the workforce, he held out hope the edges may hammer out one other reunion.
That chance pale throughout a two-day stretch earlier than the vacations.
After failing to bridge the hole with Turner, who was searching for multiyear affords after batting .278 with 13 dwelling runs and 81 RBIs final season, the Dodgers as a substitute signed J.D. Martinez to a one-year, $10-million contract on Dec. 17 — successfully discovering a less expensive possibility to switch Turner’s veteran right-handed bat in a predominantly designated hitting position.
The subsequent afternoon, information broke that Turner and the Red Sox — Martinez’s outdated workforce — agreed to their two-year pact, which features a participant possibility for 2024.
For Turner, the next month has been stuffed with conflicting feelings.
He’s longing for his alternative in Boston, the place he was recruited by different former Dodgers (Kiké Hernández chief amongst them) in addition to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who texted Turner to extol Boston’s tradition as a sports activities city.
Turner is also completely happy to be with one other storied franchise and joked throughout an introductory press convention this month that he’s trying ahead to seeing would-be fly outs flip into doubles off the Green Monster in Fenway Park.
“I’m just excited to be part of their organization,” Turner reiterated Sunday.
At the identical time, Turner nonetheless appeared to be digesting his departure from the Dodgers. He struck a diplomatic tone whereas discussing his negotiations with the workforce.
“I don’t think anything’s gonna take away from the nine years that I had in L.A. as a Dodger,” he stated. “It was an absolutely incredible ride.”
Still, he deflected when pressed additional on whether or not he was stunned he and the membership couldn’t attain a brand new settlement.
“I don’t think it does anyone any good to go back and speculate as to what happened,” he stated. “I don’t want anything to blow back or taint the last nine years that I had and everything we accomplished.”
He later added: “I’d rather celebrate the nine years than talk about maybe what could have been or should have been or didn’t happen.”
Turner spoke Sunday from the Dream Center in Echo Park, the place the inspiration he began together with his spouse, Kourtney, was internet hosting a fundraiser to have fun “Justin Turner Day” — which the Los Angeles City Council acknowledged as Jan. 22 in 2019 to honor Turner’s work locally.
Though Turner is not a member of the group, Dodgers followers nonetheless made up the overwhelming majority of the greater than 1,000 individuals who have been anticipated to be in attendance.
Many wore blue shirts and No. 10 jerseys (there was at the least one Red Sox hat within the crowd, although it was donned by a girl additionally carrying one in all Turner’s Dodgers uniforms). Dozens lined up for autographs, images and an opportunity to thank the workforce’s longtime third baseman.
And at the same time as Turner ready to start a brand new chapter, they nonetheless handled the red-haired Lakewood native like a franchise icon.
“This is a good way to put a bow tie on everything,” Turner stated, gazing out on the crowd, “and say thank you to L.A. one last time.”