The MLB season is nearing the All-Star Break, with fans voting daily for their favorite players. For National League shortstops, the leading vote-getter is Trea Turner.
For the Dodgers, Turner has been the most consistent hitter all season long. The shortstop leads the Dodgers in batting average, RBI, stolen bases, and hits. Since getting traded to the Dodgers in the middle of last season, Turner won the batting title in 2021, and he has posted a WAR of 2.7 this season.
However, the biggest question surrounding Turner is his contract. The 28-year-old is slated to be a free agent this winter. After Corey Seager left the Dodgers this past winter, Dodger faithful is hoping another shortstop doesn’t walk. It is a loaded shortstop free-agent class with Turner, Dansby Swanson, Xander Bogaerts, and Carlos Correa all potentially being on the market.
Turner has an excellent case for being the best player on the Dodgers. In my opinion, the Dodgers should do everything they can to re-sign him, but it is easier said than done.
Several rumors have connected Turner to the East Coast, most recently linking him to former teammate Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies. Turner is currently on a one-year, 21 million dollar deal with the Dodgers.
Last season, Seager reportedly rejected an extension from the Dodgers to test out free agency, and Turner could possibly follow suit.
Some pundits predict that Turner will get more money than Seager’s $325 million dollar deal with the Texas Rangers. Turner’s market value, according to SportTrac, is $30 million a year. However, Turner would turn 30 years old next season, unlike Seager, who is 28 years old this year. So, Turner could get a larger AAV but a shorter team deal.
The Dodgers also have several free agents along with Turner, including Clayton Kershaw, Andrew Heaney, and Tyler Anderson, all of who have enjoyed success this year. The Dodgers could try to bring all or some of these players back.
The team also has contract options for Max Muncy and Justin Turner. The club is hopeful that Trevor Bauer‘s money is gone as well. But big names such as Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts are signed for the foreseeable future.
If Turner does walk, the Dodgers could hand the full-time shortstop position to Gavin Lux, who is batting .292 this season and has a .754 OPS. They can also turn their focus on the free agency market and target Bogaerts or even Correa, creating a potential stir among the fanbase.
Ultimately, the Dodger’s primary focus should be re-signing Turner, but if they cannot do so, it isn’t the end of the world. Fans hate to see a player like Turner leave, but at the end of the day, it is his decision . We might need to wait until the winter to find out.