When Corey Seager signed with the Texas Rangers, it was a foregone conclusion that Trea Turner would be the Opening Day shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers … right? That was the whole point of acquiring the former Washington Nationals star at the trade deadline (in addition to simply making the roster better).
But if president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s latest comments tell us anything, it’s that there’s a possibility there’s another player taking over at shortstop when the 2022 season opens.
Don’t forget that Carlos Correa, who reportedly rejected a 10-year, $275 million contract from the Detroit Tigers, and Trevor Story are still available and can be had post-lockout, though there will likely be stiff competition from the Yankees, Red Sox, Astros and others.
Is there a world where Turner remains at second base and the Dodgers bolster their roster with another high-profile shortstop signing to replace Seager? There are a lot of floating rumors at the moment — including the Dodgers’ interest in Freddie Freeman — but can we discount anything in what’s currently a bizarre locked out offseason?
Could the Dodgers keep Trea Turner at second base and sign … Carlos Correa?
Here’s what Friedman said about Turner returning to shortstop:
"“We have not had that conversation, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s what he wants to do,” Friedman said on AM 570 L.A. Sports back in late October. “We haven’t gotten there yet, and we have a lot of heavy lifting to do between now and then to figure out what gives us the best position player group as we head into 2022.”"
Conventional wisdom would suggest this was a discussion upon Turner’s arrival to LA since the elephant in the room was Seager’s impending free agency and that the former Nationals star would be switching positions under the assumption he’d be going back if there was a vacancy a few months later.
Seager signed with the Rangers on Nov. 29 and it appears the Dodgers were out of the bidding well before that. Did they contact Turner following his departure and before the lockout to let him know of a change in plans? Or did they keep the status quo in case they’re planning for a post-lockout spending spree that features Correa (since he’s the more likely fit)?
Looking ahead, keeping Turner at second base for another couple of years with Correa holding down shortstop before an eventual move to third base could be considered among the long-term plans. That’s assuming Turner signs an extension, too, which has to be one of many offseason goals.
Once again, there are a lot of moving parts here, but the Dodgers and Correa reportedly had contact before the lockout and Turner, from what we know, has yet to be contacted about a return to shortstop. You connect the dots.