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MLB: What next for Trea Turner?

The Los Angeles Dodgers gave Trea Turner a qualifying offer, but the shortstop rejected it and is now free to sign with any other team, so where next for the former Washington National?

Turner played shortstop for one of the greatest baseball sides not to win the World Series from a regular-season dominance.

In addition to providing solid defence for the Dodgers, Turner also hit .298 with 21 home runs and 39 doubles in 160 games.

Over the past three seasons, Turner at the plate has an OPS+ of 137 as well as remaining an elite base stealer.

The team offering Turner a deal will also have to give up draft compensation per MLB qualifying-offer guidelines. This along with a projected annual contract value of $33.5million makes Turner an expensive free agent target.

Phillies in pole position

The National League champions, the Philadelphia Phillies are one of the favourites to land the shortstop, however the Phillies face challengers in the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners already have J.P Crawford playing at shortstop, but they would be prepared to entertain the notion of Crawford moving to second base to accommodate Turner.

It’s worth noting that Turner was moved from shortstop to second base as Corey Seager already held that position with the Dodgers when he was traded from the Nationals.

Adding versatility to your resume is of course a bonus, however at 29 years of age, Turner might rightly say, I’m a shortstop only now.

Of the shortstop free agents, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson, only Turner has ever played second base.

Stott would face a change

For the Phillies to land Turner, some adjustments would need to be made, so where does Bryson Stott fit into this scenario?

Turner is an upgrade with the bat immediately and Stott could land at second base now that Jean Segura is likely to be going elsewhere.

With close friend Bryson Harper also at the Phillies and Turner’s hopes of landing an east-coast club, it adds more to the suggestion that the Phillies are favourites over the Mariners.

Turner and Harper played with the Nationals together and also Kyle Schwarber briefly in Washington. 

Speaking recently about Turner, MLB Insider Mark Feinsand told MLB Network: "Trea Turner is arguably the top shortstop on the market in another very deep shortstop class. The Phillies are a team that I’ve heard him connected to several times.

"Obviously he played with Bryce Harper in Washington and they’re buddies. And I think the Phillies, even after getting to the World Series, are in the market for one of these shortstops, Turner being likely their top target."

The Phillies are 20/1 to win the World Series in 2023, with the Mariners 16/1 and the Dodgers 5/1.

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World Series Winner

Turner was born in Boynton Beach, Florida and he was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft. Turner opted to attend NC State instead to play college baseball.

Turner joined the 2014 MLB Draft instead and the San Diego Padres selected him in the first round with the 13th overall selection.

He was eventually traded to the Washington Nationals in 2015 which involved a three-team trade that was actually started in 2014, but because of rules that prohibited players from the draft being traded mid-season, Turner had to wait to be moved across the country.

Turner made his MLB debut in August 2015, got his first hit on 3rd September/September 3. In 2016 and was runner-up in the Rookie of the Year to Corey Seager, despite only playing in 73 of 162 games that season.

Against all the odds, the Washington Nationals won the World Series in 2019, although the season began with Turner breaking his finger trying to bunt against the Phillies in April.

Turner did not play again until a month later, however finished the regular season with a .298 batting average and 19 home runs in 122 games.

In the NL Wild Card game, Turner hit his first postseason home run off Brandon Woodruff of Milwaukee, as the Nationals went on to defeat the Brewers and then eventually the Houston Astros to collect their first championship title in franchise history.

Turner was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021 along with star pitcher Max Scherzer as the Nationals started to offload their payroll and disassemble their World Series roster in a bid to go full circle and start a rebuild.

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