Should Dodgers Prioritize a Trea Turner Contract Extension?

With all the uncertainty that surrounds MLB’s current lockout, there still seems to be a fair amount of speculation across the baseball blogosphere, at least as far as trades and free agent signings go.

At this stage of the game, we have the faintest clue as to what might happen over the coming months. If an agreement is reached, it could be in the waning moments of the offseason, giving clubs very little time to scramble and round out their respective player rosters.

Should things remain unsettled by Opening Day, we could be in store for the first industry strike since 1995.

Seemingly, the Dodgers will be making their own share of moves when the transaction freeze is lifted. The team is in decent shape with position players, but they still have a lot of work to do with the starting rotation and bullpen, especially if Kenley Jansen lands elsewhere.

Corey Seager’s Departure

One of the biggest losses prior to the transaction freeze was Corey Seager’s big move to Texas. Obviously, the Dodgers fared decently when Seager missed time over the last several seasons, but there’s no arguing that the club’s offense was at its peak when Seager was healthy.

And, without Seager catching fire at the perfect time during the 2020 postseason, the outcome could have taken on a completely different narrative.

The Trade

Regardless, to put the team in a position to contend in the 2021 playoffs, front office boss Andrew Friedman dealt a quartet of reputable prospects — pitcher Josiah Gray, catcher Keibert Ruiz, pitcher Gerardo Carrillo and outfielder Donavan Casey — to the Washington Nationals for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.

While the jury is still out on the prospects, the Nationals can take their time with the youngsters’ development. In the meantime, Scherzer has landed in New York, and the only thing the Dodgers have left to show for the deal is one more year of service from Turner.

The Future of the Dodgers’ Infield

There has been a lot of chatter about a Turner extension recently, specifically with so much uncertainty surrounding the Los Angeles infield. There always seems to be a hole at second base, and third base could be an issue as Justin Turner’s contract comes to an end in the coming seasons.

While a TTurner contract extension might be on the bottom of the team’s priority list right now, it might be a critical part of solidifying the core for the coming years. There are a few notable infield prospects, including Jacob Amaya, Michael Busch and Miguel Vargas, who could impact the roster in the near future, but there are no guarantees. Signing TTurner to a multi-year extension can provide at least a little stability.

Last year, TTurner was one of the most productive contributors to the Los Angeles offense during the second half of the season. He won his first-career batting title and hit more than 20 homers for the first time ever. His 195 hits led the entire majors, and if his OPS would have been a few ticks higher, he may have snagged his first-ever NL MVP award.

That’s not even mentioning the incredible defensive range he possesses at both middle infield spots.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles fans are clueless where the team stands regarding a 2022 payroll budget. Friedman probably has no idea how the Trevor Bauer situation might unfold, possibly having to payout $32 million in salary without any services in return.

Despite everything, if there’s a transaction that’s high atop Friedman’s current priority list, it should be an extension for Turner.

41 thoughts on “Should Dodgers Prioritize a Trea Turner Contract Extension?

  1. I agree that they should find out if Turner will extend if not they should trade him while they can get a player. I really like Vargas but he is probably a year away along with Amaya< Busch is older and might be ready. He was OK last year in the minors. Vargas is the contact-hitting guy that has hit wherever he went.

    1. Trade Turner and now you have a huge hole at SS. Taylor is more valuable in his super sub role. If Turner does not want an extension, find out now and go after a free agent SS. As for Bauer, if he gets suspended, it will most likely be without pay, and his 45 mil contract will not have to be paid. But if that happens, then you know there is going to be some sort of lawsuits involved. I think Manfred is in a very precarious position as to Bauer. Without any formal charges, he is treading on thin ice as to a suspension. You cannot bank on Busch and Amaya. Neither has been that impressive yet. Neither has played above AA. Amaya hit .212 in AA ball last year. Expecting better in the majors is wishful thinking. Vargas is another who has never played above AA. AA players rarely make the jump.

      1. Yeah, I think I agree with all of that Bear. Since that trade came down I have wondered whether we could keep either of those guys. I haven’t heard anything about what it is that Turner wants, and wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to go back to Washington. And why extend now? If he plays well a full year at short he will cash in on the free agent market. I think so anyway. Who knows what the new CBA will look like, but I doubt salaries go down.

        The longer the Bauer situation goes on the less likely it seems any charges will be filed. That said, the MLB language about domestic violence is pretty clear. This could come down to a he said she said and yeah, thin ice. I think whatever the end game looks like everybody wants this over.

      2. That’s true you would have a hole but Lux is a SS…So the hole might be second base. But it would depend on what you could get for him. If the Dodgers sign Freeman or trade for Olson or another first baseman then everybody will shift.
        We have seen it before if a guy can truly make contact they can play anywhere. Vargas will be a very solid major league player and he is growing into his frame and will get more power. Didn’t Bellinger make a very quick stop at OKC and then move to the MLB? Vargas is older than Bellinger was.
        There are so few that show the natural ability to make consistent contact although a lot has to do with their approach look at Bellinger before he got his head screwed on straight. Some guys are so consumed with hitting the ball out they mess up their mechanics.

      3. Bellinger did only spend a short time at AAA, but he spent all of 2017 spring training with the big club and he is a different type player. He adjusted fast. Vargas has not shown that yet. You trust Lux at SS, I do not. I do not feel he is established enough to be the everyday guy there. I think Freeman is a target and many Dodgers want him. With Turner as a free agent after next season, his value is not going to be what you might think. And I am not trading him for anything less than equal value back and I do not mean a bunch of prospects. I want a front line position player. You say it was all in Bellinger’s head. I disagree, that philosophy is used all over the Dodger organization and has been for years since Von Skoyoc came on board as the hitting coach. Launch angle has become the way. Not making contact. I believe Bellinger’s injuries and being unable to swing the way he was used to affected him as much if not more than his approach. I care less how much ability they have shown at the lower levels, a vast majority of AA players never make the bigs, and even if Vargas sees some time this season, instant success is not assured.

  2. About damn time, Hodges elected to the hall along with Kaat, Olivo, Minoso, and negro league stars Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil. Now the Dodgers can do the right thing and retire # 14.

    1. Very happy about Hodges. I really want to see Maury Wills in the HOF. Maury brought speed back to the game.

      1. As much as I loved Maury when he was playing, I think his overall numbers fall a little short. He did bring back the stolen base, and inspired guys like Henderson, Brock and Coleman. But a Hall of Famer, like Garvey, Hershiser and Fernando, his stats just do not add up.

      2. We will always have disagreements T. I look at the game through different eyes.

  3. I would absolutely try to extend Trea but I don’t think he’s going to jump at an extension. I would think he’ll want at least 8 to 10 years and 300 million in order to stay out of open bidding next winter when his only real competition will be Bogaerts who will almost definitely opt out.

    Dennis, you mention Amaya, Vargas and Busch as notable infield prospects, but Amaya hasn’t proven he can hit and Busch and Vargas will never get near shortstop. Long story short, we don’t have any real sure thing prospects who could replace him anytime soon.

    We have eliminated Scherzer and Seager as long term salary commitments and no matter what happens this year we probably won’t have Bauer’s salary to worry about next year. He will most likely opt out if he’s still here.

    We have Buehler, Urias and possibly Bellinger to think about in the next few years but, at this point, I don’t see any of them getting Mookie/Trout/Cole/Seager sized contracts.

    Having Mookie and Trea at the top of the lineup for the foreseeable future sounds very nice to me. Speed is going to start playing a more important part in the game again and we need all we can get.

    1. Lux is a SS!! How soon people forget.. Busch can play second.
      I didn’t say they should trade Turner but if he is not willing to extend he is a valuable trade chip.
      Vargas plays 3rd, and corner OF…

      1. I’m a Lux fan but given a choice of extending Trea today or having to depend on Gavin to be my shortstop for the next 10 years……………………………………………. I’d rather go for the guy who has proven to be an excellent hitter and decent shortstop and who can also steal bases (something else Lux hasn’t done much of).

        We may be talking past each other here because if Turner won’t go for an extension AF will at least have to consider whether he would be worth trading. And that would depend on what he could bring back on the trade market. OK, Tmax, what would you expect you could get for one year of Trea Turner? Throw out some examples and we can all discuss.

  4. The, have to know right now whether Turner will sign. If not go after a shortstop that will be around a few years. Right now there are a few good ones available and non coming into free agency in the near future. There is nobody on the farm that even resembles a shortstop. The hardest position to fill except catcher. Other positions are fairly easy to fill, year to year. Then worry about the other positions.

  5. I was just checking out Trea’s numbers vs Cory’s numbers. Trea is a year older, but all of their numbers are pretty close, except for SB. So I would say the market is set.

  6. I say again – why would Trea extend now? This is a contract year and the base for 6-7 WAR free agent shortstops has been set at $300+ million. I don’t see Friedman offering that any time soon if at all. I anticipate Turner having another great year and hitting the open market. We’ll just have to see if I’m wrong.

    I think Lux could be close to Trevor Story good. He’s got the raw skills, I just hope he wants it enough.

    Good to see Hodges get in. Way overdue.

    1. I think you are right Scoop. If Turner is fixated on money or more importantly contract length he will not extend.
      Lux was originally a SS. He is an athlete. He can play SS, 2nd base, and if he is given some time all 3 outfield positions.

  7. Bear you remember listening to the Dodger games with Koufax, Drysdale, Wills, etc. As Maury spent a long time in the minors he did not have the years to accumulate stats. But when he was playing for the Dodgers he transformed the game back to speed. He was also a Gold Glove defender. I look at Maury as a catalyst for a new speed era of baseball. I think players that change the game should be recognized. But I am in the minority and that’s OK.

    1. Good morning Tmax. I too am from that era and had opportunity to see a lot of Dodger games and listen to Vin and Jerry between ‘59-‘66. I was a huge Wills fan. I was about his size and fast so it felt natural for me to start playing shortstop. I think if you look at the shortstops just before just before and just after Wills (e.g. Reese and Smith) and the few that were playing at the same time (Banks and Aparicio) you can see why Maury comes up just a bit short. He was a great Dodger, and had a few tremendous years, with that MVP year standing out, but in all honesty probably not HOF worthy.

      1. I see your point and Bear’s also. The committee agreed as Maury received 3 or fewer votes. The Dodger pitchers of that era dominated but Maury to me transformed the game. I can vividly remember sitting in my grandma’s kitchen listening to Vin’s call of Maury breaking Cobbs’s stolen base record. Reese and those guys were incredible but to me did not change the game as Maury did. He brought speed back to the game. But I am very happy Hodges made it. He certainly deserved the honor.

  8. T, I understand your passion about Wills. And considering that Bill Mazeroski is in the hall simply for his defense, because his offense sucked rocks, I would have to agree a little. Wills spent 14 years in the majors, so saying he did not play enough to get HOF stats is wrong. Ross Youngs is in the Hall and he played 10 years. Wills did lead the league in steals six straight seasons. But once he hit his early 30’s his bat skills deteriorated some. He ended up a .281 hitter. Not bad, very respectable. And better than Mazeroski’s .260. Wills won his gold gloves in 61-62 and never won another. Maz garnered 8. Wills went to the All Star game 5 times and Maz, 7. Where Wills might get shortchanged is he played on 4 World Series teams and earned 3 rings. Maz was on 2 Pirate championship teams. Wills WAR is 3.2 points higher than Maz. They were both middle infielders, so maybe the HOF panel should have looked a little closer. But being up against guys like Hodges, Carew and Minoso, along with Dick Allen, it was probably the wrong time to expect him to get 12 of the 16 votes. Allen missed by one. Another thing is that Wills was much more of a contributor to his World Series wins than Maz was except for his walkoff HR in game 7 of the World Series in 60.

    1. Great summation on Wills. I loved to listen to the games. He was such a dynamic part of the Dodger games. Remember Wills would hit a chop single or walk, steal 2nd, and Gilliam who was always so patient and willing to take strikes to allow Maury the chance to steal would move him over or get him in. The Dodgers would win 1-0 or 2-1. Those years the hits the players were able to get should be multiplied in WAR numbers as it was a time pitching dominated the games. They lowered the mound after 68 as Gibson had a 1.21 ERA and 7 starters were under 2.00. Yaz won the batting title with a .301. So Wills and his stolen bases and chop hits were a very significant part of the Dodger scoring.

      1. Wills was gone from the Dodgers after 1966. Traded to the Pirates. The 68 Dodgers were awful. They finished 7th with a 76-86 record. Wills meanwhile hit .278 with the Pirates that year and stole 52 bases. The early 60’s team’s were actually a lot better at scoring runs than one might think. Middle of the pack most of the time, 4th in 60, 2nd in 61, 2nd in 62, slipped to 6th in 63, 8th in 64, same in 65, and once more in 66 they finished 8th. That was Maury’s last season until he came back in a trade in 1969.

  9. The only thing that would make Gil’s election to the Hall better would be Vin making the presentation. I believe Scully’s message to the voters prior to the vote was a huge factor in his finally making it. Lost a great friend yesterday, Buddy Merrill, who once played in Lawrence Welk’s orchestra as his guitar player, passed away yesterday. He was a great steel player also. RIP Buddy, you will be missed.

  10. Jeff, you talked about throwing out ideas. Now that Bellinger has had the shoulder surgery can he play 1st base? If so the Dodgers could move Muncy over and use Lux in center or trade or sign a centerfielder. Just one idea. I think they will simply move Turner over to SS and Lux, Muncy, & Taylor can play there. Rios could play 1st base occasionally as he has improved greatly at 3rd base and if his shoulder is OK has good power. Because guys like Taylor, Lux, Muncy, can play other positions it does make AF’s job easier in that he can look for an outfielder or 1st baseman that can add another bat to the line-up. The Dodgers won a lot of games the last few years without Seager and now have T Turner. Does anyone think Freeman signs anywhere but Atlanta?
    What about Seiya Suzuki? He is 27 bats R, plays corner outfield, 3rd base, and SS according to his stat sheet. He would fit right into the Dodger group with multiple positions and his stats say he can make contact and knows the strike zone. I still say no reason to panic I now believe Bauer will be back. So right now the starting rotation has 3 dominant aces in Bauer, Urias, and Buehler. That is a great start. I believe Gonsolin will have a great comeback year. So that is 4 and then you have Heaney, White, Jackson, and Grove all on the 40 man roster. And a lot of young arms that might be ready for a shot. Miller was dominant last year.
    If you look at a starting lineup T Turner, Betts, J Turner, Muncy, Bellinger, Smith, Lux, Pollock, and then the DH of Rios, Taylor, Beaty, or ? not a bad lineup. No need to panic….

    1. T. They moved Bellinger off of first because he injured his shoulder diving for a ball. Why move a gold glove centerfielder and install a guy who looked very uncomfortable out there? Sorry, Lux has not shown enough yet to play 2nd everyday, let alone the outfield. Muncy might not be ready to start the year at all. They have plenty of time to see what they can add. Suzuki while a star in Japan is no lock to do the same in the majors. His main position is RF, I am not moving Mookie unless they decide to move him to 2nd to protect his back. Also the teams most agressive in their pursuit of Suzuki prior to the lockout were the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays. Add players where you need them. Not where you do not. None of us has a clue right now which way AF will go. But I would bet he would rather sign someone like Freeman before he trades for a CF or signs a foreign free agent.

      1. Bear I agree with you but Jeff said to throw out some ideas so I did. If his shoulder is now stable and he is doing the correct exercises that shoulder should be much stronger than it was originally. He can probably play 1st base without a problem. So says my crazy ex-soccer-playing daughter that was a PT for the Olympics and just graduated and passed her boards as an Acupuncturist and Herbalist YAY!!
        I agree they will leave him in CF for now. Freeman would definitely be an incredible addition but do you think Atlanta will let him go?
        If you don’t like the suggestions throw out some of yours… That is the name of this game, Jeff says LOL!!

      2. I get it, but his value is in CF. I campaigned to move him back there a season ago and was shot down by Scoop and some others who seem to believe defense is not as important at 1st. I disagree, but what else is new. I am not a huge fan of Muncy at second. He does like playing there though. I think his range is too limited. Look, Lux might turn out to be the real deal, but I am not handing him anything until he is way more consistent than he has been. As for Freeman, the talk is he asked for 6/180. very reasonable for him in my book. But the word is the Braves are balking at giving him the 6th year and have even kicked the tires on the idea of signing Rizzo. You look at the guys on the roster behind the so called starting 8 and you have one positive, Taylor and a bunch of question marks with tools. Barnes is going to be Smith’s back up, so that is 2 down, leaving probably 4 more spots since they will most likely use the DH. McKinstry did pretty well until he got hurt. Then he fell off of a cliff. You do not know if he will bounce back. Rios also coming off of an injury season, and he also is a huge question mark. Can handle3rd or first, and plays a little outfield. Then there is Beaty, Beaty is marginal at any position, but would be a solid DH against RHP since his best position is in the batters box. Trouble is they are lefty heavy off of the bench. Only Barnes and Taylor. None of the AAA guys are MLB ready, and their top prospects are at AA or were last year. I sign Josh Harrison. Good bat, good glove, very versatile. He adds some pop from the right. If they can get Freeman, it gives Muncy that much more time to get fully healthy. They need at least 2 more starting pitchers if Bauer is suspended. But only one if he is still on the team. Rondon is still out there. Depending on how much he wants, he would be a good addition. If not, there are plenty back of the rotation guys who would be available. The bullpen it pretty good as it stands, but pitching additions are always welcome.

  11. Actually, Tmax, my call was for ideas as to what you could hope to get for Trea if you traded him, but all ideas are worth discussing. Some are saying we should trade TT if he won’t commit to an extension before the season. I was just wondering what anyone thought he would bring in trade.

    I agree with Bear when he said why move Belli, an excellent center fielder, to first base, a position that takes less skill, just to move Lux to center where he has almost no experience. And that move would also mean moving Max to second where he isn’t as good as he is at first. If AF could get Freeman (I doubt the Braves let him go), that would be worth moving some people around, but that would probably be the only reason to move those guys.

    Contrary to what Bear said, I give Lux the second base job if Muncy is still our first baseman on opening day and hasn’t become our new second baseman to accommodate Freeman (or Olson, you never know). He showed me enough last year to give him the job for half a season to see if he can become the player we expect him to be.

    AJ can opt out after the coming season and will almost certainly do so because he’ll be able to get a multi year deal. I don’t think that contract will be with us though so the thought of at least looking at Suzuki makes sense to me. If he can play right, he can play left and for 2022 he could be the fourth outfielder until he gets used to the U.S. game. If he could actually play a decent third base all the better. He supposedly has a rifle arm.

    1. I misunderstood. But I like the speculation of what AF will do. I agree they will not move Bellinger unless they find an outstanding replacement in CF, which is very doubtful. Everything I have read the asking price for Olson is astronomical as it should be. And I agree I am doubtful Freeman leaves Atlanta.
      I like what I have read about Suzuki. I am sure everyone here has read about him.
      I agree Pollock is probably gone in 2023. In 2023 we might see Outman and/or Pages. If on track they have Vogel and Rodriguez as possible 2024 bring-ups. If they play a normal year, which I highly doubt!. We will see Vargas (RH) before the end of the 2022 season. He can play left field along with 3rd base. I believe he is a lock for the Major Leagues, I am sure many will be negative but that is what I think from the games I have seen and his stats.

      1. I agree that Vargas will have a good major league career, possibly even an excellent major league career, but I don’t expect to ever see him in LF. He’s never played there in the minors and the guys who know seem to think his ultimate future will be at first or DH. They aren’t even convinced he’ll stay at 3rd which is too bad.

        Another outfield prospect to keep an eye on his Jose Ramos who turns 21 in January and just had a very nice year at Rancho Cucamonga.

  12. I watched Manfred’s press conference that he had right after they imposed the lockout. Listening to that idiot babble is unwatchable. He went on and on about how MLB is all about compromise and the MLBPA is not. It is wonder they ever get anything done with that slug in charge. Hey Rob, get off the pot and make a ruling about Bauer.

    1. Jeff, I had read that the Dodgers were planning to get Vargas playing time at 1st, 2nd & 3rd. I thought I read they were going to get him time in the corner OF also. He reportedly has a great attitude and is willing to play anywhere. His ticket to the Bigs as we know is he can make contact and so far has good pitch recognition. His father was a star in Cuba so he has great bloodlines.

      1. I’ve never heard anything about getting him outfield time but, hey, if they think he can pull it off, I’m all for it.jd

      2. Well just about anyone can play corner outfield LOL. Of course, it would be great if he could play it well!!! He reportedly has a strong arm. There are players that can make contact. It is a gift of incredible hand-eye coordination. With practice and coaching it can be much improved but ya gotta have it to refine it. Vargas’s father was a megastar in Cuba he has the bloodlines.

  13. Two different sources in New York are reporting that both Scherzer and Steve Cohen have let Eppler know that they want Buck Showalter to get the manager’s job. Seems like if the owner and the best paid player in major league history both want the same guy, a new GM should probably take the hint.

    That said, Bob Geren is supposedly getting an interview also. Doesn’t seem like he’ll get the job, but I wonder who would be next in line to be Doc’s bench coach if Geren left?

  14. Showalter is one of the most over rated guys ever. Barely over .500. Post season he is 9-14. Was fired after 3 years with the D-Backs because he was pretty much a dictatorial type guy. Did not sit well with the veterans. Brantly was managing when they won the Series. Tim Kurkjian was elected to the Hall.

    1. I say hire the guy. The Mets need all the mismanagement they can get their hands on.

      Manfred works for the owners. Of course he’s gonna spew crap about the Union. This is how it works. They will bark at each other all winter long, fans will worry, then at the last minute an agreement will be reached and fans will joyfully buy up season tickets at inflated prices. You know it, I know it, and the American people know it.

      1. Well I won’t. I rarely go to games now. Just too damn expensive. Hey, I have a Mantle bobblehead comemorating his triple crown. If you would like it, I will send it to you. I am heading out to Cali next week.

      2. Oh hell yes. I got a Mantle Shrine in my office. Thanks buddy. The Mick. Still the best baseball player I ever saw. .300 hitter that OPS’d 1.000. 19 time All Star. Fastest guy on the field. Mike Trout of the 50s, only better. You know, the guy wasn’t that big. 5’11 195 pounds. Trout by comparison is 6’2” 235.

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