By Ken Rosenthal, Fabian Ardaya and Matt Gelb
Free-agent shortstop Trea Turner and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to an 11-year, $300 million deal with a full no-trade clause, league sources confirmed to The Athletic on Monday. ESPN first reported the news. Here’s what you need to know:
- Turner ranks as No. 5 on The Athletic‘s Jim Bowden’s list of top 25 free agents.
- Turner batted .298 with 194 hits and 100 RBIs in 160 regular-season games with the Dodgers in 2022.
- He slashed .333/.333/.778 and tallied six hits in four games in the National League Division Series, which the Dodgers lost to the Padres.
Turner was expected to seek a long-term deal around 10 years as a free agent. He is coming off another strong season in which he scored 101 runs, hit 21 homers and stole 27 bases.
Turner has maintained his elite speed remarkably well. He was as fast this year, at age 29, as he was as a 23-year-old rookie for the Nationals in 2016, posting MLB’s second-best sprint speed and ranking in the 99th or 100th percentile for the eighth straight season. Just as importantly, Turner actually puts those wheels to good use as a high-volume, high-efficiency base stealer and plus defender.
He can play second base in addition to shortstop and that further increases his appeal to teams.
How Turner fits with the Phillies
In Turner, the Phillies have filled two holes with a premium athlete. They have secured their shortstop and leadoff hitter for the foreseeable future. They paid a steep price for it, but Turner was always the Phillies’ priority. He has a strong relationship with Kevin Long, the veteran hitting coach who has wielded influence over the Phillies’ acquisition strategies. He has played with Bryce Harper, who had lobbied for Turner to join him. Turner wanted to be on the East Coast and, by agreeing to an 11-year deal with a full no-trade clause, he has committed to finishing his career with the Phillies.
The Phillies can shift Bryson Stott to second base, where he will be a plus defender. Under Dave Dombrowski, the club has made multiple moves to shore up the middle. First, it was Brandon Marsh last summer. Now, with Stott and Turner as the double-play tandem, they have better defense everywhere.
Turner has elite speed and athleticism, and it’s a package the Phillies are willing to bet will age well. Are their risks later? Sure. But, in the immediate, Turner was the perfect fit for a franchise trying to capitalize on the momentum from a surprising postseason run. — Gelb
Assessing the contract value
The Phillies followed a similar path with Turner as they did on Harper. They pushed for a longer term to lower the annual average value of the contract. Turner’s camp wanted the $300 million figure. The Phillies were fine with that — if it came over an extra year or two. The annual hit of $27.3 million means the Phillies have some more wiggle room to add around Turner and Harper, who are now united for the remainder of their careers. — Gelb
Other offseason priorities
With the biggest item done, the Phillies can now turn their attention to upgrading their pitching. They will be in the market for a mid-rotation starter. They will need bullpen reinforcements. But they have money to do it. In essence, they took the annual salary committed to Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius and applied it to Turner. — Gelb
Where the Dodgers turn from here
The Dodgers have a bevy of options of shortstop, most of which just got much more expensive with Turner jump-starting the market and getting $300 million. They already missed out on landing Justin Verlander and have started pitching needs, all while considering staying under the $233 million luxury tax threshold.
That means that while the Dodgers will certainly come up in discussions for the remaining big free-agent shortstops (Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson), they’ll also be willing to seek out shortstop help via trade, with names like Milwaukee’s Willy. Adames, Chicago’s Tim Anderson or Cleveland’s Amed Rosario making some sense. The Dodgers have expressed some confidence in Gavin Lux sliding over and playing an everyday shortstop, but there are alternatives they’ll seek out. — Ardaya
(Photo: Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)