What Trea Turner’s 11-year deal means for Phillies, Dodgers

The first domino in the free-agent shortstop sweepstakes has fallen.

the Phillies solidified one of their most glaring positions of need for the next decade by inking Trea Turner to a massive 11-year, $300 million commitment, while the dodgers are left to figure out how to replace the shortstop’s 194 hits in their lineup.

Turner joins Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years, $340 million), Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million) and Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million) among the $300 million men at his position. With Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts other Dansby Swanson still on the board, it’s possible at least one of the remaining available shortstops soon joins him in that distinctive club as the action intensifies during the Winter Meetings.

Monday morning was all about the National League East. Hours after the meads inked Justin Verander to a two-year, $86 million deal with a vesting option for year three, the Phillies countered with an offensive punch. The match between Turner and the National League champions seemed like an obvious one, with Philadelphia looking to build on last season’s surprise run.

Turner, a Florida native who played college ball at NC State, returns to the East Coast and rejoins former Nationals teammate Bryce Harper to create a lethal duo. rookie Bryson Stott can bump over to second base, where he played 47 games last season, with Jean Segura a free agent after his option was declined.

The Phillies have their new leadoff hitter and starting shortstop for the foreseeable future in a dynamic talent. Turner has averaged an .870 OPS over the past four seasons, and his combined 20 fWAR over that time trails only Aaron Judge — who will soon be securing a sizable bag of his own — for the highest mark in the majors.

Turner finished last season with more hits, doubles, runs, RBIs and stolen bases than any player currently in the Philadelphia lineup. No qualified Phillies batter had a batting average better than .280 last season; Turner’s was .298, and that was during a 2022 season in which he felt like he had created bad habits and was searching at the plate for much of the year. He hasn’t hit worse than that since 2018.

For much of the season’s second half, Turner said he was trying to make adjustments to get back to where he was in 2021, when he led the majors with a .328 batting average and finished the year with a 145 OPS+ — the best mark of his career in a full 162-game season. Although his chase percentage increased considerably last year to 33.1% (for perspective, the Phillies chased at pitches 30.9% of the time last season, the fourth-highest in baseball), Turner still finished the year slashing .298/.343/.466 with 21 homers, 27 stolen bases, 101 runs scored and 100 RBIs.

He felt like he found his swing again at the end of the regular season and went 6-for-18 with four extra-base hits in the playoffs. The speed threat has been among the most slump-proof players in the game. Turner led the majors in hits in two of the past three seasons. He never went more than three games without a hit this year. Since joining the Dodgers in August 2021, Turner recorded hits in 178 of his 212 games. He failed to reach base just 21 times.

The four longest Dodgers hitting streaks of the past two seasons — 27, 26, 20 and 18 games — all belong to Turner, despite him not joining the team until August 2021.

At 29 years old, Turner has not yet lost his speed. He ranked fifth in the majors in sprint speed this season, which is actually a slight tick faster than two of his past four seasons. Turner has ranked in the top seven in the category every year of his career.

Needless to say, it is a considerable loss for the Dodgers.

Internally, the most obvious candidate to take over the position is Gavin Lux. Prospects Michael Busch or Jacob Amaya could also help ease the middle-infield vacancies at some point. even with Clayton Kershaw Officially signing his one-year, $20 million deal, the Dodgers remain about $45 million under the luxury-tax threshold. That could tempt them to sign one of the remaining free-agent shortstops, but with a bevy of highly regarded prospects soon to debut, they could also entertain trades to fill the void.

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Rowan Kavner covers the Dodgers and NL West for FOX Sports. He previously was the Dodgers’ editor of digital and print publications. Follow him on Twitter at @RowanKavner.

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