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Ranking Dodgers Star Trea Turner’s Potential Landing Spots Before MLB Free Agency

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    An East Coast homecoming could be in the cards for Trea Turner. (Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    With mere weeks standing between him and a romantic date with Major League Baseball’s free-agent market, Trea Turner just managed to get better to speculate about where he’ll find yourself.

    Although LA Dodgers shortstop told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County-Register that “everything is in play” for his free agency, the Boynton Beach, Florida, native and former Washington National was also transparent about his fondness for the East Coast:

    Bill Plunkett @billplunkettocr

    The perception is that Florida native Trea Turner would want to go back to the East Coast in free agency. He helped create that perception. “Yeah, Im from the East Coast. Would I love to return back? Sure. But I believe L.A.s been excellent if you ask me.”https://t.co/QGoYjbwjQv

    This probably doesn’t eliminate a go back to the Dodgers for Turner, a two-time All-Star who’s also won a batting title and a global Series ring. But if nothing else, it is a sign they must not be expecting him to provide them any type of discount.

    For what the 29-year-old Turner may be worth in free agency, let’s break that down before we reach hypothesizing about his potential suitors.

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    AP Photo/Ashley Landis

    As exemplified by Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million), Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years, $340 million) and, lately, Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million), the going rate for a superstar shortstop isn’t cheap.

    This surely bodes well for Turner, and FanSided’s Robert Murray posited throughout a livestream in June he may beat what Seager got from the Texas Rangers.

    The Team 980 @team980

    MLB Insider makes a prediction: Trea Turner’s new contract will top Corey Seager’s $325 million deal. https://t.co/nQANdECwYr

    If anything qualifies this as a reach, it’s Turner’s age. Whereas Seager was off his age-27 season when he inked his deal last offseason, Turner will undoubtedly be coming off his age-29 season when he hits the marketplace this winter.

    But considering that 2022 will be Turner’s age-28 season if he was created on July 1 instead of June 30, that is basically a nitpick. There’s otherwise no question that he’s among baseball’s best shortstops, or even the best.

    Though Turner, who debuted in 2015, was plenty good in 2018 and 2019, it is within the last 3 years that he’s removed. He’s hit at .320/.368/.525 with 162-game averages of 28 home runs and 32 stolen bases. Among shortstops, his 14.0 rWAR since 2020 ranks first.

    On top of that, it is possible that Turner hasn’t yet peaked. With the pitch clock, larger bases and limits on shifts more likely to result in more hits and stolen bases, his hitting acumen and 100th-percentile sprint speed figure to be a great deal larger problems for the opposition.

    Therefore, a $300 million contract may be in the cards for Turner. We see 10 teams that may be ready to spend that much on a shortstop, and we’ve ranked them in accordance with how good of a fit we think they’re for Turner.

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    Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

    10. St. Louis Cardinals

    Current Shortstop: Tommy Edman (6.3 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $79.4 Million

    Edman is really a darn good player, but he could shift to second base if the Cardinals arrived at see Turner as an excellent fit for the $30 million payroll hole that Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols are going to start. They’re obviously no East Coast team, however, and a $300 million deal ‘s almost triple the largest deal the club has ever done in free agency.


    9. Atlanta

    Current Shortstop: Dansby Swanson (5.1 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $157.3 Million

    Now we’re on the East Coast, and the defending World Series champions will require a shortstop should they neglect to retain Swanson this winter. Yet with Swanson and Atlanta engaged in extension talks, in accordance with Jon Heyman of the NY Post, it is a long-shot concept even without engaging in whether Turner will be financially simple for Atlanta.


    8. Boston Red Sox

    Current Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts (5.6 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $112.1 Million

    With Bogaerts all but assured to exercise his opt-out, Boston is another club which could soon be missing its franchise shortstop. But even though there’s additional money here than there’s in Atlanta, a fresh cope with Bogaerts seems much more likely. Failing that, the Red Sox might simply shift Trevor Story from second base back again to shortstop if Bogaerts walks.


    7. Miami Marlins

    Current Shortstop: Miguel Rojas (2.0 rWAR)

    2022 Commitments: $47.6 Million

    With the Marlins badly looking for offense, could it be a great deal to ask they make Turner, who was raised about one hour from Miami, the free-agent splash fans have already been waiting for? You might hope not, but just ask Derek Jeter how willing owner Bruce Sherman has gone to spend real cash. Maybe that’ll change someday, but it is a don’t-hold-your-breath situation.


    6. Baltimore Orioles

    Current Shortstop: Jorge Mateo (3.0 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $19.6 Million

    If there is a dark horse for Turner on the East Coast, it must function as Orioles, right? They’ve taken a large step of progress in 2022 even without high-priced stars, and there’s hypothetically room to include some of those this winter. But with Jorge Mateo and Gunnar Henderson already on the roster, the O’s might rightfully figure they’re better off targeting pitching.

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    Sarah Stier/Getty Images

    Current Shortstop: Isiah Kiner-Falefa (2.6 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $151 Million

    We’re discussing a big-money player who has his eyes on the East Coast, so we’re basically contractually obligated to add the Yankees just as one suitor.

    While Kiner-Falefa is really a nice guy to possess, he’s no cornerstone. The Yankees will be upgrading substantially should they signed Turner and pushed Kiner-Falefa from shortstop into some type of supporting role, or possibly to third base should they can offload Josh Donaldson.

    Yet you can find issues with this notion, starting with the way the right-handed-swinging Turner’s power stroke isn’t just geared for Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch:

  • To Left Field: 67 HR
  • To Center Field: 51 HR
  • To Right Field: 5 HR

The Yankees may also be playing the long game at shortstop. As reported by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they didn’t follow Seager, Story, Carlos Correa, Javier Bez or Marcus Semien last winter due to just how much they like top prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.

We are able to also be real on who the Yankees’ No. 1 target will undoubtedly be in free agency this winter: Aaron Judge. As he’s got 57 home runs and counting, they’ve hopefully already determined that he’s indeed worth a lot more than the $213.5 million offer he rejected in April.

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    Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Current Shortstop: Nico Hoerner (4.5 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $91.5 Million

    If anyone’s convinced that the Cubs curently have an excellent shortstop, well, that is true. Hoerner has real skills, including at the very top bat-to-ball talent and upper-level defensive chops.

    You can find nonetheless signals from the organization a pursuit of among the winter’s top shortstops is coming, including from manager David Ross:

    Jordan Bastian @MLBastian

    Cubs manager David Ross, on the thought of leading office potentially seeking a large free-agent shortstop when Nico Hoerner has proven he is able to handle the positioning at a higher level pic.twitter.com/EpXAi1NVDF

    Granted, the Cubs aren’t an East Coast team. Yet David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago has said there’s mutual interest between Turner and the Cubs, though Turner himself hinted that the Cubs would need to sell him on the team’s direction.

    From multiple organizations, youd wish to know what they expect or where its going or what theyre attempting to dokind of a vision, he said, in accordance with Gordon Wittenmeyer of NBC Sports Chicago. Whatever that vision could it be is. But I believe thats mandatory.”

    This figures to function as hard part if the Cubs create a run at Turner. With 173 losses at the big league level during the last two seasons sufficient reason for their farm system drawing mixed reviews, the club’s rebuild seems quite definitely ongoing instead of near ending.

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    Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Current Shortstop: Brandon Crawford (0.2 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $103 Million

    Although Giants will be the very opposite of an East Coast team, they will have a minumum of one thing which could win Turner over: the big bucks.

    For his part, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has hinted a spending spree is coming:

    MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM @MLBNetworkRadio

    The Giants won 107 games this past year. Now they end up under .500 and from the postseason picture.

    How will they respond this offseason?

    President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi:@SFGiants | #SFGiants | #SFGameUp pic.twitter.com/EsgtBA9H5Z

    And for his, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Monday that the Giants would “love” to land a star shortstop should they can’t get Judge first. Heck, you will want to both? It is a fair question in light of how those $103 million commitments include $35.5 million worth of choices for Evan Longoria and Carlos Rodn that the Giants are unlikely to really pay.

    Although 35-year-old Crawford hit enough to contend for the NL MVP just this past year, he’s gone back again to being truly a glove-first player in 2022. Conceivably, he could transfer to a platoon with Wilmer Flores at second base to support Turner.

    Yet whether it’s that vital that you Turner an organization have a “vision,” it is possible he’ll have reservations concerning the Giants. They’re in better shape compared to the Cubs, having regressed and then 69-74 following a shocking 107-win season in 2021. The problem is way more the club’s young talent, or rather curious lack thereof both in the majors and down on the farm.

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Current Shortstop: Turner

    2023 Commitments: $159.9 Million

    Whether it’s conceivable that Turner remains on the West Coast to become listed on the Giants, then obviously it’s conceivable he re-ups with the Dodgers this winter.

    Heyman reported in-may that Turner initially had a “negative reaction” to the trade that sent him from Washington to LA last July, but that he’s since “settled in.” Turner himself basically admitted just as much to Plunkett, saying “L.A.’s been excellent if you ask me.”

    Also, those $159.9 million in commitments understate just how much financial flexibility the Dodgers may have this winter. They will have $32.6 million worth of options they could decline. They might also save another chunk of change by non-tendering fallen MVP Cody Bellinger, who’s earning $17 million this year.

    Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s background is also worth taking into consideration here. Of the six biggest deals he’s done in free agency, 1 / 2 of themi.e., Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen and Chris Taylorkept core stars from leaving.

    For what else besides money could convince Turner to forgo a go back to the East Coast, well, think about an opportunity to keep winning with the only team that’s won games at a .600 clip during the last decade? You might believe wouldn’t hurt the Dodgers’ case.

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    Megan Briggs/Getty Images

    Current Shortstop: Bryson Stott (1.0 rWAR)

    2023 Commitments: $163.9 Million

    Turner obviously isn’t wearing a Phillies uniform yet, but that wont function as case for a lot longer if the talent evaluators who predicted the pairing to Nightengale obtain way.

    A very important factor that’s for certain is that two-time MVP Bryce Harper wouldn’t mind reuniting along with his old Nationals teammate. Harper recently called Turner “the best player in the league.”

    A lot more than as a pal for Harper, the Phillies just plain need Turner within their lineup. Though Stott has redeemed the mess that Didi Gregorius created before he was released, the Phillies have gotten just 0.2 rWAR out of shortstop all season. Meanwhile, they’ve also gotten only a .295 OBP out of these leadoff spot.

    Because the Phillies are operating making use of their highest ever payroll, the financials will be the tricky part here. However they could have some wiggle room this winter, because they can release money by declining $32 million worth of options on Jean Segura and Zach Eflin.

    Making use of their farm system in not-great shape, spending may be the only way the Phillies are likely to sustain as a contender anyway. To the end, Turner would go nicely with an accumulation of free-agent hits that already includes on Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Zack Wheeler and Kyle Schwarber.


    Stats thanks to Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.

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