After an unexpected season in which he currently sits second in RBIs (95), third in home runs (23), and second in batting average (.277), will Justin Turner exercise his 13.4 million dollar player option in 2024 to keep him in the “dirty water” or will he choose to test the waters of the free agent pool, instead?
2024 Option: Will Justin Turner Exercise His With the Red Sox?
To say what Justin Turner did with the Red Sox at the somewhat advanced age of 38 is almost unheard of. Not so much because he did well at the plate, but he also played in the field, when most players his age are designated hitters solely. The Red Sox would love to have him back; all accounts suggest he would love to be back. Nevertheless, talk is talk, and money becomes the ultimate determinant of aspirations.
What Turner Showed This Season and How It Could Effect His Decision
Turner demonstrated that he still has a lot of baseball left in him. He does have an option for the 2024 season with the Red Sox. While that seems like a lot of money, many factors will determine whether or not Turner exercises his player option. One such variable is whether Turner is looking for a big payout to finish his career as he is close to the sun setting on an impressive and solid career portfolio. If that is the case and Turner is not out to win another World Series as he did with the Dodgers in the Covid-19 shortened season of 2020, then he would be wise to test free agency and see who will pay him the most.
If Turner Wants Another Ring…
The likelihood that the Red Sox go from (currently) AL East cellar dwellers to World Series Champions in one season is not impossible (1967’s Impossible Dream, team), but also is not likely probable. If Turner aims to win another World Series, he will probably have to sign elsewhere, even if it is for less money than the 13.4 million the Red Sox would pay him next season, should he exercise his option.
For the Love of the Game
Suppose Turner decides to spend the twilight of his baseball career in arguably one of the best atmospheres, not just in baseball but all professional sports. In that case, Turner will exercise his 2024 to remain in Boston. Though the scenario is not likely, some players have turned down more money to go elsewhere when they are content where they are. Eduardo Rodriguez is the player who comes to mind who did just that when he exercised his no-trade clause this season, which would have sent him to the AL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Rodriguez said he and his family were content in Detroit despite the fact he may have helped the Dodgers win a World Series this season. Red Sox fans are hoping Turner feels the same way about Boston.
What will determine whether Justin Turner exercises his 2024 player option with the Red Sox will largely depend on what Turner decides he wants to do as his stellar career draws to a close (Assuming he does not turn into Julio Franco, of course). He proved he still has a lot of baseball left in him, not only with the bat but also seeing time at three different positions in the field this year. Whether he exercises his option to stay with the Sox or not, the one sure thing is that the Fenway Faithful are appreciative and grateful for Justin Turner and his efforts this season: once a Red Sox, always a Red Sox. Thank you, Justin Turner!
Main Photo Credits: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports