The Los Angeles Dodgers have arguably the best shortstop in baseball on their roster in Trea Turner, however that may not be the case next season.
Turner entered this past offseason with one final year remaining for salary arbitration, meaning he is on track to become a free agent after the 2022 season. Turner and the Dodgers did agree to a one-year deal worth $21 million to avoid the arbitration process this year.
While it has been frequently reported that the speedy shortstop would prefer to play on the East Coast, he has also expressed some openness to remaining in L.A. and that there is a willingness to discuss a contract extension at any point.
Turner reiterated those feelings, saying he would be open to negotiations if the Dodgers want to hold them, but talks have not started, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“It’s like I talked about before, [I’m open to] having talks if they want to have them and if not, let’s go play baseball,” Turner said. “So no talks, no nothing. We’re ready to go play.”
If Turner truly does want to play back East, there’s a chance he’s expressing this 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 whether it’s an in-season contract with the Dodgers or signing after the season, Turner is in line for a massive pay day that should reach the $300-million range.
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, Turner hit .328/.375/.536 with 28 home runs, 107 runs scored, 77 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, a 142 wRC+ and 6.9 WAR.
Turner locked into top three spot in Dodgers lineup
The Dodgers have 10 players projected for at least league-average production this season, including six of them at All-Star to MVP levels. With that many great players, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will have no shortage of lineup combinations to choose from each game.
While there will likely be nightly changes in the bottom half of the order, Roberts has already penciled in Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner into the top three spots of the Dodgers lineup.
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