By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

In an effort to repeat as World Champions the Dodgers have made several moves to improve their roster and make it happen again. The biggest move was retaining Justin Turner. 

The Lakewood native is the “heart and soul” of the team. His scrappiness, hustle and locker room presents is a cohesive factor with his teammates that can’t be matched on the field. 

The two-year deal is worth 34 million dollars including an 8 million dollar signing bonus, there’s also a 14 million-dollar club option for a third year. There are other factors like where he finishes in the MVP voting that could raise his salary up to 52 million. 

During his seven years with the “Men in Blue” he’s batted .302, hit 116 homers and driven in 406 runs.  

He and wife Kourtney run the Justin Turner Foundation which has impacted several families and lives in the greater Los Angeles area. 

Trevor Bauer was also signed adding to an already strong pitching staff. He was noted as the best free agent pitcher available. Last year’s Cy Young Award winner signed a three-year 102-million-dollar deal that will pay him 40 million in 2021, 45 million in 2022 along with 17 million in 2023 with an option to op-out the latter two years.  The former UCLA Bruin in now the highest paid player in baseball. 

“I’m looking forward for a partnership for a chance to win,” said Bauer. I don’t to be a player who signs a long-term deal and towards the end is resented either by fanbase or by organization for having my performance slip below what my contract dictates. I wanted something with flexibility.  Wanted something that works for me and the organization.” 

Bauer will join other Cy Young-winners in Clayton Kershaw and David Price to go with Walker Buehler. 

Walker Buehler and Austin Barnes have inked new deals. Barnes agreement is a two-year 4.3 million-dollar contract including a $300,000 bonus. The catcher hit .244 with nine homers in a COPVID shortened season but is valuable with the staff. He started four of the six Dodger World series games. Buehler signed a two-year 8-million dollar deal. Joc Pederson and Kiki Hernandez have departed the team as free agents.   

Pitchers and catchers report this week. “OUCH”