When the Dodgers let Trea Turner go, they were not expecting this.
Outside of a departure to the American League or a friendly bargain extension, Turner heading home to the East Coast in Philadelphia felt like the ideal way for his free agency to conclude. The price the Phillies paid bordered on unreasonable, only outpaced by the amount of money Turner turned down from the Padres. There was no reason for the Dodgers to feel any regret at choosing not to match the number (at least, there was before Gavin Lux went down).
Any self-loathing created by Turner's departure has since turned to sympathy, however, as the 30-year-old shortstop has been nothing short of a seismic disappointment in the city of Boo Birds.
Turner's season, plodding along far below his career norms, plummeted to a stunning new nadir on Wednesday night, as the Marlins inched closer to the Phillies in the Wild Card race thanks in large part to the shortstop's malfeasance.
The race was already closer than it should've been largely because of Turner's below-average performance on the year, but he was more directly responsible for a specific brutal loss in this case. The shortstop went 0-for-5 in a game in which the Phillies let a 5-0 lead slip away. On what could've been the final out of the game in extras, Turner's backhand yips continued, and the game played on. Miami won in 12.
Dodgers ex-shortstop Trea Turner is having a disastrous time in Philadelphia
After the game, an accountable Turner stopped for Philly's unforgiving media and intoned, bluntly, "Obviously I'm the reason why we lost that game." Obviously, nobody deserves this, but the effervescent Turner, post-payday, does not deserve this avalanche of blame.
The Dodgers trading assets for Turner midway through the 2021 season, installing him as Corey Seager's "heir apparent" (or, at least, someone to spook Seager ahead of free agency), then letting him walk without much resistance following 2022 seemed to be a curious move. Turner facilitating his wife's homecoming (and, again, his denial of the Padres' much larger offer) was a noble move in Dodgers fans' eyes.
Nobody wished this level of ill upon him. Nobody could wish this level of ill upon anybody (outside of Madison Bumgarner).
The good news? Turner has until 2033 to figure this out.
The bad news? Turner has until 2033 to play in front of the unforgiving Philadelphia faithful.
Hopefully, Wednesday was his lowest low, and a moment he's able to look back on and dismiss when he's raking, diving, and sliding somewhere down the line. Turner's speed-based game is one of buoyant joy. Even the most hardened Dodgers fan is bummed out this morning imagining that dissolving.