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MLB Free Agency Heating Up

Justin Turner

The start of the 2021 Major League Baseball season is less than two months away, but there are still several big-name players that aren’t on rosters.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teams to cut payroll, which has kept teams from making many deals.

With the start of spring training just days away, teams are now starting to offer some deals to free agents in an effort to get them to camp on time. There were some big deals made this week, and that should continue into the coming weeks.

Turner Returning to Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers and free-agent third baseman Justin Turner have reportedly agreed to a deal, putting an end to one of the biggest storylines this offseason. The third base position has created plenty of drama in the free-agent market, and this solves a huge piece of the puzzle.

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According to sources, Turner has agreed to a new two-year deal worth $34 million. Most league executives believed that Turner would eventually end up back with the Dodgers, but the Milwaukee Brewers were pushing hard to acquire his services.

Turner is the third-longest tenured player on the Dodgers and the longest-tenured among position players. After signing a minor-league contract with the Dodgers prior to the 2014 season, he eventually made it to the Major Leagues in 2015.

The Dodgers relied on Turner to anchor the middle of their lineup and also play terrific defense at third base. He was a huge part of the 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers team that went on to win the World Series.

There was also controversy and drama surrounding Turner in Game 6 of the World Series after he was removed from the game due to a positive COVID-19 test. Turner ultimately came back on the field to celebrate with his teammates and was not wearing a mask.

MLB launched an investigation into the details of that night but decided not to punish Turner.

Cubs Now Spending Money?

The Chicago Cubs appeared to be shedding payroll this offseason, but now it appears that they are once again looking to contend. After signing Joc Pederson and Jake Marisnick to free-agent deals to solidify the outfield, the team has now agreed with a former Cy Young Award winner.

The Cubs and Jake Arrieta have reportedly agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal that would bring the fan-favorite back to the Friendly Confines. Arrieta had one of the most impressive stretches by a starting pitcher with the Cubs and is a beloved player in the city of Chicago.

It is unlikely that Arrieta will be able to return to the old form that saw the veteran throw a pair of no-hitters over a span of fewer than 20 starts, but he will bring a veteran presence back to the team. The Cubs let Jon Lester and Jose Quintana go in free agency this offseason while also trading Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres for a package of young prospects.

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