February 6, 2023

Phillies make splash in free-agent market, sign star shortstop Trea Turner

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The reunion is in full swing.

On Monday afternoon, ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirmed via Twitter that the Philadelphia Phillies and star free-agent shortstop have agreed upon an eleven-year contract estimated to be worth about $300 million. The contract also includes a no-trade clause.

Turner spent the past season and a half with the Dodgers, where he was traded to from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline in 2021. In 2022, Turner hit .298, boasted a .809 OPS, and hit 21 home runs. His 6.3 fWAR in 2022 was good for ninth-best in the National League. He is widely considered the best offensive player in the 2022-23 offseason free-agent class and is the most appealing of the shortstops known as the “big four:” Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, and Dansby Swanson.

Once Jean Segura officially hit free agency when his option was declined on November 7, it became clear that the Phillies would sign a middle infielder when free agency began; it was only a matter of which one.

Given his history with the Phillies, league-best base running, and his elite bat, it was clear that Trea Turner was the preferred choice for the Phillies. Turner and Phillies’ star Bryce Harper were teammates in Washington D.C. from 2015-18, and their friendship continued, even after they found themselves on opposite sides of the country in 2021.

Turner’s wife and Harper’s wife are friends, and the idea of playing in Philadelphia seemed pleasant fro Turner and his family.

Per sources in San Diego, the Padres offered Turner $42 million more than the offer he agreed to with the Phillies. Turner, however, chose Philadelphia.

“Money wasn’t necessarily the number one option for us… Obviously, it plays a part. We just pictured ourselves here. I pictured myself in this uniform. [My wife Kristen] pictured living here and having family come and visit. We pictured playing with Bryce [Harper] and [Kyle] Schwarber and a lot of those guys on the team now… It seemed like a lot of those things added up and pointed us in this direction, and we’re excited about it,” Turner said in his press conference.

Turner is expected to sit near the top of the Phillies’ lineup and will take Bryson Stott’s role as the everyday shortstop, sliding Stott over to second base.

The Phils’ next task it to figure out where will Turner sit atop the lineup. It’s nearly a guarantee that he’ll be one of the top two hitters, but it’s still up in the air whether Kyle Schwarber will hold the leadoff spot in 2023. Turner is indisputably more of a stereotypical leadoff hitter, but Kyle Schwarber is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, where he hit 38 home runs in the one-hole and led the National League with 46 total longs balls.

Either way, Turner’s impact will be weighty no matter where he is on the field or in the lineup. As other teams scavenge the remains of the free-agent market, the Phillies should be beyond happy to have another superstar in red pinstripes.

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