Long before the offseason began and their interest waned, ages before his postseason struggles, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in danger of losing Trea Turner to the Philadelphia Phillies.
In fact, the dance began publicly over the summer, back when Bryce Harper decided to put the screws on and toss tampering charge-related caution to the wind.
The Phillies — famously based in the city of Philadelphia, which is equally famously on the East Coast (eye emojis) — have made their Turner interest public dating back to the Dodgers-Phils battles this season, even before LA’s visit to Citizens Bank Park at the end of May.
At that point, Turner had already called Harper “the best player in the world” after a series at Chavez Ravine, leading to Harper mulling over Turner’s skills for two weeks after the season series had wrapped, then waxing poetic about his talents on June 12. June 12?!
"“I think Trea Turner is one of the most underrated players in the game. He’s one of those guys that just goes under the radar. He’s one of the best shortstops in the game. I’m excited to see where he goes next year.”"
We wrote about it. We publicized it. We asked the question, “Is this for real?” then emphatically answered our own question, “Yes.”
And now, here we are, mired in a pre-Winter Meetings lull where the Phillies have reportedly pulled well ahead of the field, per Jon Morosi, with the Dodgers seemingly content to let Turner go (and possibly stay out of the shortstop market entirely).
Dodgers Rumors: Phillies emerging as Trea Turner favorite
Here comes Gavin Lux, National League All-Star shortstop?
Without the financial burden of Jean Segura or Didi Gregorius currently on Dave Dombrowski’s payroll, the NL Champions have a clear path towards adding a star at an area of need. Second-year middle infielder Bryson Stott will still play a role, especially after the remarkable patience he displayed during Philly’s run to the World Series, but that role might be second base.
Long speculated as a fit for one of the top free agent shortstops, and long speculated as Turner’s future home by yours truly (inspired by 2021’s NL MVP), the Phillies seem poised to make their move in the coming days.
Don’t say we didn’t help you get ahead of this by highlighting the dropping breadcrumbs all summer long.
Really, this thing was over the minute Harper got involved, if not the minute Turner was dealt to California against his will in the heat of August 2021.