When Ken Rosenthal was asked on the "Foul Territory" podcast if the Red Sox have been trying this offseason in terms of pursuing the top free agents and trade targets, he said what Red Sox Nation is thinking:
And when reports surfaced that Boston's front office didn't have interest in bringing Justin Turner back for a reunion, his statement, and Red Sox fans' beliefs, were confirmed.
According to Peter Gammons, Turner and his representatives reached out to the Red Sox front office to discuss a contract for 2024, but they couldn't get Boston interested enough to actually want him back.
Even with the Sox desperate for a right-handed power bat, Turner, who hit 23 homers and drove in 96 runs last season, at $13 million was apparently too pricey.
The Red Sox front office didn't try to bring Justin Turner back before Blue Jays deal
Turner, a 15-year MLB veteran and an esteemed presence in the clubhouse and on the field, desired to come back and play for the completely disappointing and utterly uncompetitive Red Sox, and they had the gall to say "no."
Turner's deal with the Blue Jays could have fit into Boston's spending — or, more accurately, not spending plan. He'll play the 2024 season in Toronto on a one-year, $13 million deal that could've kept the Red Sox well under the payroll tax if they signed him themselves.
Like Rosenthal said, "it's inexplicable to me the way they're running this thing."
The slugger could've filled a few of Boston's current needs had they signed him back. The Sox need right-handed power. Turner is a good backup option in the infield if any other players are injured or need a day off, which would allow Masataka Yoshida to spend some time in the designated hitter spot in his stead.
Turner was a fan favorite, and many have taken to social media to heap praise onto the veteran for being one of their favorite one-year Red Sox players. Fans wanted Turner back and he would've been willing to return for a reasonable price that didn't affect the team's financial outlook.
The currently-tenured players on the team have to be noticing the lack of effort from the front office. The players still have to try as hard as they can to put out a winning product without any help where it matters. It can't be reassuring to hear that the front office is wasting years of players' careers by punting, yet again.
If this is the "Fenway Experience" that Tom Werner and John Henry are trying to sell, the team's actual fans don't want it. But the front office is more than aware that the seats at Fenway Park will never reflect the opinions of the people who care, because they've spent so much time and money turning the park is a tourist destination to ensure they can still turn a profit there, regardless of the quality of the output.
Based on everything that's happened this offseason, this team has next to no chance to be better than it was last year. If the way the 2023 season ended was as unacceptable as the front office made it sound three months ago, we can't even imagine damage control that will come after 2024 and where the blame is placed.