The money conversations have begun with the MLB free agency period now open. There are 14 players that received qualifying offers to stay on their former team. The offer amount for 2022 is worth $19.65 million for one year. With plenty of high-value players on the free agent market, the race to sign them will be fun to watch.
However, the higher you go on the free agent list, the more expensive it gets. We already discussed the best landing spots for Aaron Judge, but who else will command big money? Look no further than Trea Turner, the ex-National turned Dodger via trade. Let’s break down where Trea Turner could land for a hefty price in the MLB free agent market.
St. Louis Cardinals
I want to start this list off with a team that might be a little unrealistic, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals already have an infield featuring Nolan Arenado, who just won a sixth consecutive platinum glove, Paul Goldschmidt, and Tommy Edman. However, the Cardinals are going to increase their payroll in 2023 and might have the funds for a big name. The Cardinals biggest need for their lineup? Shortstop.
Imagine an infield that features Arenado, Goldschmidt, Edman, AND Trea Turner. That might be the best infield lineup in recent memory. This would be an expensive and major move by St. Louis but it could be the difference between an early playoff exit and their 12th World Series trophy. Maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t, but do not count out the Cardinals to make big moves this winter and shake up the MLB.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Very rarely will you see a player’s former team be the least likely to re-sign him, at least in the MLB. However, Turner and the Dodgers have had hardly any discussions on a long-term deal. The only upside here is that the Dodgers do in fact have the money to bring him back. But the problem is where will they want to spend that money?
With Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa on the market, LA might want to pull out the big check and move on from Turner. Turner is projected to command a deal worth nine years, $270 million. That is a hefty price tag but when you bat .298 with 21 homers, 100 RBIs, and an OPS of .809, you can ask for big money. Only time will tell if the Dodgers are willing to break out the big bucks to keep Trea in LA.
The Cubs will definitely be in the market for a shortstop this winter. The Cubs need to start building up another all-star roster to get back into contention. The Cubbies currently only have $89 million being spent on players for 2023. That number then dips to about $50 million in 2024. If I’m the Cubs, Trea Turner should be on their radar.
Having that amount of financial freedom means the Cubs can pay big money to guys like Correa and Turner. The only downside here is that Turner would be the centerpiece and would have to wait for the rebuild to fully end. However, this means the Cubs can take that big swing on Turner and more surrounding players the following year. This could be a massive winter for Chicago.
San Francisco Giants
I mentioned that the Giants will be a prime spender this winter, especially for Aaron Judge. But maybe they switch it up and shake up the MLB by acquiring Turner instead. Turner has played second base before and the Giants need that badly. With Brandon Crawford locked in at shortstop for 2023, Turner could fit right in and move back to shortstop if San Fran decides to move on from Crawford.
The Giants are in a similar financial situation to the Cubs. They have excess financial freedom for the next two seasons and this means big spending opportunities. The Giants have only $70 million in salary guaranteed in 2023 and $20.5 million in 2024. The Giants are going to be major players for multiple superstars this winter and Trea Turner could easily be one of them.
The biggest player/suitor for Trea Turner this winter happens to be a team that just finished as the runner-up for the World Series. Surely they don’t need that much help for this already expensive lineup right? Wrong. The Phillies are going to need help for the infield and Turner is that guy.
With Jean Segura hitting free agency as well, that opens up the shortstop position. The Phillies have Bryson Stott but he would fit better at second base. Therefore, Turner has a spot that is wide open for the taking in Philly. Turner also reportedly prefers a return to the East Coast and who better than the MLB World Series runner-up, right? This move makes the most sense both financially and personnel wise for the Phillies to remain contenders for a World Series title.
Final Thoughts On The MLB’s Trea Turner Sweepstakes
Trea Turner will be a hot commodity on the free agent market this winter. With plenty of teams in need of an elite shortstop, Turner will be given plenty of options. A return to the Dodgers makes sense simply because it would be easy to stay with the team you just spent a season with. The big move would be to go to the Phillies and keep them a contender. Only time will tell where Turner feels is the best destination for his future.
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