Red Sox' Positional Plan for Justin Turner Revealed After Signing

Tyler Maher
The Boston Red Sox have revealed their positional plan for Justin Turner.
The Boston Red Sox have revealed their positional plan for Justin Turner. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Boston Red Sox made yet another curious move on Sunday, signing third baseman Justin Turner to a two-year deal worth $22 million. On the surface, the move is a bit puzzling because the Red Sox already have an elite third baseman in Rafael Devers.

Boston explained the signing by revealing Turner's new position for 2023.

Justin Turner Red Sox

Apparently, the Red Sox plan to play Turner at designated hitter and first base next season, essentially making him J.D. Martinez's replacement. Martinez was the team's primary DH from 2018-2022 before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason.

As a veteran right-handed hitter in his 30s, Turner's profile is remarkably similar to Martinez's. While Turner is a few years older, he does provide more versatility with his ability to man the hot corner when Devers needs a break. The 38-year-old has barely played first base at the MLB level (just 39 career games), but apparently the team plans to play him there when Triston Casas needs a breather as well.

Turner's ability to play multiple positions should come in handy for manager Alex Cora, who likes to rotate players in and out of the lineup to keep them fresh. That was harder to do with Martinez, who didn't play the field at all in 2022 after embarrassingly hurting himself by tripping over a base while running out to play the field in 2021.

So while Turner may not be the elite hitter that Martinez was, at least he gives Boston more options in the field.

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