Dodgers: Projecting Trea Turner extension one year before free agency

Jerry Trotta
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 06: Trea Turner #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he flys out against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on August 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 06: Trea Turner #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he flys out against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on August 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Dodgers are STILL looking up at the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings, and they’ll be hoping their trade deadline acquisitions will eventually catapult them ahead of their longtime division rivals.

Of course, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner headline those blockbuster investments, and both players look comfortable slotting in as important pieces for the defending champs.

Scherzer threw an absolute gem in his debut against the hated Astros, while Turner has been a lifeline with his glove and on the bases.

Once his bat gets going — he’s hitting .250/.400/.375 over three games — the All-Star will become an instant fan favorite.

You could even argue Turner’s already highly regarded among the fans. It wouldn’t be surprising if some Dodgers diehards are already starting to envision a world in which Los Angeles extends Turner and moves off of Corey Seager in the offseason.

That’s obviously several months away, but it really isn’t too early to start projecting what the Dodgers’ core will look like after 2021. The trade with the Nationals flipped everything upside down, so let’s project what an extension might look like for Turner.

Projecting a realistic contract extension for Trea Turner and the Dodgers.

Turner was open to signing an extension with the Nationals, and revealed after landing in Hollywood how disappointed he was that they never initiated negotiations

In the midst of firmly establishing himself as one of MLB’s best shortstops — he’s hitting .321/.370/.518 with 18 home runs, 48 RBI, 69 runs scored and 22 stolen bases — he’ll be expecting a lucrative deal this offseason, even though he won’t hit free agency until 2023.

Those stats don’t portray how reliable Turner is on defense, but all you need is a nine-inning sample size to realize he’s as smooth as they come at the shortstop position.

Do we honestly think the Dodgers unloaded some of their top prospects, including the No. 1- ranked Keibert Ruiz, just to rent Turner and Scherzer? After all, they signed Mookie Betts to a monster 12-year, $365 million extension after they acquired him via trade last offseason.

With all this in mind, what would be a reasonable deal for Turner? Francisco Lindor reset the market this past offseason by signing a $341 million deal with the Mets. Behind him, you have Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $340 million mark … and then Xander Bogaerts’ six-year, $120 million contract.

Los Angeles likely won’t make Turner the highest-paid shortstop, but his production and consistency suggests he deserves to rank at least third behind Bogearts. In our eyes, a six-year, $150 million extension could be in the cards for the 28-year-old stud (which would start after his final year of arbitration eligibility).

Not only would that give Turner an annual average value $25 million, but it would give the Dodgers some financial flexibility to address other areas of the roster. Really, $25 million for one of the best shortstops in the game … isn’t that bad.

Would they have to pay more in the event they do bring back Seager and then ask Turner to ping-pong between second base, shortstop and center field? Maybe, but it’s not crazy for him to take that meaty of a contract to be on the West Coast and play on MLB’s best team.

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