Although the Los Angeles Dodgers lost All-Star shortstop Corey Seager to the Texas Rangers in free agency, they still have one of the best players at that position on their roster in Trea Turner.
However, the Dodgers may not find themselves with that luxury again next offseason. Turner is entering his final year of arbitration, which means he is due to become a free agent after the 2022 season if not signed to a contract extension before that point.
Prior to the 2021 season, the Dodgers made an attempt to lock up Seager long-term, but they were unable to reach an agreement and he shut negotiations down during the season to focus on baseball.
Now, the Dodgers could once again find themselves trying to come to terms with their superstar shortstop in the final year of his deal. But unlike last year, negotiations might continue into the season if they are unable to work out a deal in Spring Training as Turner is open to talking at any point, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I feel like I compartmentalize. I can have a talk if somebody wants to have a talk,” he said. “If not, I’m ready to play and ready to go out there and do what I’ve done for the last however many years. Like I said in the past, I’ll have talks. But if they’re not going to happen, if they don’t or they do, I’m not worried about them. I’m worried about not stinking today. It’s kind of my motto, don’t suck today. So, I’m putting in the time and we’ll let those things take care of themselves.”
It has often been reported that Turner would prefer to play on the East Coast, meaning his time in L.A. would be short-lived. However, Turner appears more open to remaining with the Dodgers than previous reports indicated.
Of course, there’s also a chance he’s expressing that sentiment to set up his market as it would be unwise to eliminate one of the highest-spending clubs in baseball before even hearing other offers.
But at the end of the day, free agents tend to take the most money they’re offered, especially the top talent such as Turner, which should keep the Dodgers involved.
Turner ranked as top-10 shortstop by ESPN
Although Turner finished 2021 as a second baseman, he was ranked by ESPN’s Buster Olney among the top-10 shortstops in baseball. Olney amassed his annual list by receiving input from evaluators and others around baseball.
Now that Turner is replacing Seager as the Dodgers’ starting shortstop, he was ranked as No. 3 on the list. Turner is only behind free agent Carlos Correa (No. 1) and San Diego Padres All-Star Fernando Tatis Jr.
Turner is coming off the best full-season of his career as he won the batting title and was named to the National League All-Star team for the first time in his career. In 148 games, he hit .328/.375/.536 with 28 home runs, 107 runs scored, 77 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, a 142 wRC+ and 6.9 WAR.
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