Trea Turner, after 1.5 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is one of the most coveted free agents on the open market at the moment, with countless teams likely interested in signing him for 2023 and beyond.
The two-time All-Star told the media earlier in the offseason that everything’s on the table in regard to his next destination, but rumors have suggested he prefers a move to the east coast. Additionally, money will be a factor.
Could the Dodgers offer the most? Probably. Will they? Probably not. Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts are signed through at least 2027. The Dodgers have other commitments on the horizon to make, with Julio Urías and Walker Buehler. They have money tied up from the Trevor Bauer situation, too.
Though the Dodgers remain a premier and desirable destination, that doesn’t mean Turner isn’t on board with a move elsewhere.
The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly emerged as the frontrunner in the Turner race. How real are those rumors?
Dodgers Rumors: How real is the Trea Turner-Phillies buzz?
That’s a reputable report right there from MLB insider Jon Morosi. There was also previous speculation of this during the season due to Turner’s connection with former teammate Bryce Harper as well as the Phillies’ preference to fill their shortstop vacancy with a big splash.
Then, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski came out and said the Phillies won’t in any way restrict their spending after their run to the World Series. Though it seems like they’ve spent a prohibitive amount in recent years, they have somewhere in between $126 million and $174 million committed to their next six payrolls. That’s a lot of flexibility for a bigger market.
Their only player signed beyond 2026 is Harper. As of now, only Nick Castellanos feels like the only “bad” contract on the books, and he’s only signed through 2026. Over the next few offseasons, money will be freed up and Dombrowski will have the ability to spend more.
So adding Turner on a ~$250 million deal wouldn’t necessarily put Philly in a bind. Throw in their east coast location and the fact they’re coming off an NL pennant, it makes the pairing more attractive for speedy shortstop. A core of Harper, JT Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber is just as attractive as anything else across the league. Dombrowski at the helm making shrewd trades adds even more confidence.
There are a few “cons” for Turner, though, if we want to run those down quickly:
- Philly has made the playoffs just once over the last 11 years
- They have zero division titles over that span
- They’re in the same division as the Mets and Braves, while the Dodgers are clearly tops in the NL West
- They haven’t wont 90 or more games since 2011
- They’re one of the most disappointing baseball franchises ever
By no means do the “pros” suggest the Dodgers are losing their grip on Turner, but they’ll certainly have to work harder than some expected thanks to this Philly recency bias, while also keeping tabs on the other top shortstop options in the event Turner leaves LA abruptly.