Dodgers insider’s contract prediction for Trea Turner isn’t encouraging

Wondering why the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t signed Trea Turner to a contract extension yet? Well, the lockout is one reason. The other? He’s expected to be really expensive. At least as of this writing.

You thought Corey Seager’s 10-year, $325 million contract was too costly for LA? Well, Carlos Correa is expected to exceed that, according to some insiders. And if we’re to compare Turner’s production to Correa’s? Uh, yeah. We’re getting into dangerous territory.

Turner led MLB this past season in fWAR (6.9, among position players), hits (195, for the second year in a row), stolen bases (32), total bases (319), and won the NL batting title. He was also a positive defender at shortstop and second base. Throw in a career high 28 homers and 77 RBI, and you have yourself an elite player.

When you look at other comparable contracts (not including Fernando Tatis’ or Marcus Semien’s deals due to their situations), Francisco Lindor ($341 million), Seager ($325 million), Javier Baez ($140 million) and Xander Bogaerts ($120 million) are the most relevant, with Correa and Trevor Story expected to join the party in the coming months.

The Dodgers won’t be getting a discount on Trea Turner. Sorry guys.

Here’s what Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic (subscription required) wrote:

“The closest comparison here might actually be to Lindor, who put together similar recent production but was a year younger at signing than Turner is now. Like Lindor, Turner was acquired in a mega-deal, something that may incentivize the Dodgers to try to get a deal done just as the Mets did in trying to establish credibility with their new ownership under Steve Cohen. The Dodgers already signed one player to a massive extension after such a trade, in Mookie Betts. While the pressure may not be similar to re-sign Turner, it would be notable for the Dodgers to have Seager, trade their two top prospects for Scherzer and Turner, and to have all three wind up leaving within a span of two winters.

“Lindor’s final contract total was in part influenced by Tatis setting benchmarks to clear. Lindor did so both in total value ($341 million) and in average annual value ($34.1 million) for a shortstop. That’s a number Correa can use in negotiations, as can Turner (or whatever number Correa winds up getting).”

There’s no reason for Turner to undersell himself when there’s about to be another market explosion whenever the lockout ends. While his career postseason numbers don’t do him any favors (.228 average, .561 OPS in 39 games), teams will undoubtedly be paying for his five tools. He’s the fastest player in MLB entering his age-29 season and he figures to age better than guys like Seager and Correa, both of whom have bigger frames and might need a position change within the next few years.

So if you’ve been getting impatient with the Dodgers’ inactivity on this front since acquiring Turner at the trade deadline, there’s no longer a reason to feel that way. Turner will sit back and wait to see what the rest of his peers earn before the start of the 2022 season.

And then any production similar to his last couple of years will speak for itself and he’ll be the most sought after talent next November. Will the Dodgers entertain the idea of possibly having two $300 million contracts on the books beyond the 2032 season?