In the weeks following his signing with the Boston Red Sox final month, Justin Turner began receiving presumptuous items of mail to his Southland residence.
“We had like six or seven letters in our mailbox from realtors saying, ‘Hey, we would like to promote your home,'” Turner recalled with fun. “It was like, whoa, nobody stated we’re boxing up and leaving.”
But after an ungainly finish to his memorable nine-year tenure with the Dodgers this winter, the Southern California native was nonetheless adjusting to the proven fact that Los Angeles is now not his skilled residence.
“It’s nonetheless pretty recent,” Turner stated throughout a charity occasion Sunday, his first public look in LA since finalizing his two-year, $22-million contract with the Red Sox.
“You hear that from plenty of guys, how robust free company is,” he added. “I believe everybody has this image of their thoughts of what they need or how they assume it is gonna go. It simply by no means actually goes in accordance 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 acknowledged his want to work out a brand new deal. Having twice negotiated free-agent contracts to stay with the crew, he held out hope the sides may hammer out one other reunion.
That risk pale throughout a two-day stretch before the holidays.
After failing to bridge the hole with Turner, who was looking for multiyear provides after batting .278 with 13 residence runs and 81 RBIs final season, the Dodgers as an alternative signed JD Martinez to a one-year, $10-million contract on Dec. 17 — successfully discovering a less expensive possibility to substitute Turner’s veteran right-handed bat in a predominantly designated hitting function.
The subsequent afternoon, information broke that Turner and the Red Sox — Martinez’s outdated crew — agreed to their two-year pact, which features a participant possibility for 2024.
For Turner, the following 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 comfortable to be with one other storied franchise and joked throughout an introductory press convention this month that he is trying ahead to seeing would-be fly outs flip into doubles off the Green Monster in Fenway Park.
“I’m simply excited to be a part of their group,” 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 crew.
“I do not assume something’s gonna take away from the 9 years that I had in LA as a Dodger,” he stated. “It was a fully unimaginable experience.”
Still, he deflected when pressed additional on whether or not he was shocked he and the membership couldn’t attain a brand new settlement.
“I do not assume it does anybody any good to return and speculate as to what occurred,” he stated. “I do not need something to blow again or taint the final 9 years that I had and all the things we completed.”
He later added: “I’d somewhat rejoice the 9 years than speak about perhaps what may have been or ought to have been or did not occur.”
Turner spoke Sunday from the Dream Center in Echo Park, the place the basis he began with his spouse, Kourtney, was internet hosting a fundraiser to rejoice “Justin Turner Day” — which the Los Angeles City Council acknowledged as Jan. 22 in 2019 to honor Turner’s work in the neighborhood.
Although Turner is now not a member of the group, Dodgers followers nonetheless made up the overwhelming majority of the greater than 1,000 individuals who had been anticipated to be in attendance.
Many wore blue shirts and No. 10 jerseys (there was no less than one Red Sox hat in the crowd, though it was donated by a girl additionally carrying one in every of Turner’s Dodgers uniforms). Dozens lined up for autographs, images and an opportunity to thank the crew’s longtime third baseman.
And whilst Turner ready to start a brand new chapter, they nonetheless handled the red-haired Lakewood native like a franchise icon.
“This is an effective approach to put a bow tie on all the things,” Turner stated, gazing out at the crowd, “and say thanks to LA one final time.”
This story initially appeared in the Los Angeles Times.