Phillies and centre-back Trea Turner They agreed with a full no-trade clause on a contract that would allow him to earn $300 million over 11 years.
Turner, who will turn 30 in June, made his big debut in 2016 and has since become one of the best all-rounders in the game. During that time, he stole at least 27 bases in every full season and went over 40 twice. His career batting average is over .300. While his strength wasn’t all that impressive early in his career, he continued to push this part of his game up, scoring more than 20 home runs in each of the last two seasons. Ultimate Zone Rating isn’t a fan of the glove business, but Defensive Runs Recorded and Above Average, both consider him a quality fielder at center back for his career.
Turner reached free agency this winter as part of the so-called “big four”. Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and dansby swan. MLBTR estimated he would make a healthy $268 million contract over eight years, based on his ability to help a team in every aspect of their game. This was the second highest predicted guarantee for short stoppers, after an estimated $288 million for Correa. But Correa is a year younger than Turner, and that estimate spanned nine years instead of eight, meaning Turner estimated the highest average annual value at $33.5 million.
The actual contract that Turner accepts will take a very different form than anticipated. Its $300 million guarantee goes a little beyond the $288 million mark, but it’s added an extra three years. This means Turner will turn 40 in the final season of his contract. This deal has some similarities to: Bryce HarperTurner’s former Nationals teammate who also signed with the Phillies. By signing $330 million, Harper broke the record for the largest guaranteed ever free agent, and this record still holds. However, he did get this guarantee over an extended 13-year period, averaging just over $25 million per year per season, often far below other elite players in their mid-30s. (Since this deal, the AAV record has been set at $43.33 million. Max Scherzer and tied earlier today Justin Verlander. Among the position players, Mike Trout A record is $36 million.) Turner followed Harper to Philadelphia and agreed to a similar contract that prioritized guarantees over salary, and Turner’s deal came in at just over $27 million per season. Turner will also reunite with Kevin Long, who was the batting coach in Philadelphia. Turner recently told ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel that Long, who was Washington’s batting coach from 2018 to 2021, played a key role in his development as a batsman.
For the Phillies, they have long sought a solution at the centre-back. they signed didi gregorius He performed well enough to get the job in 2020 and back on a two-year deal in that shortened campaign. Unfortunately, this new contract went bad very quickly and Gregorius eventually finished 2021 with a .209/.270/.370 streak for 69 wRC+, which is 31% below the league average.
There was some speculation that the Phils would be chasing a central defender last winter because there was a healthy class of free agents at the time, including Correa. Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien. The club eventually walked away from this group and entered 2022 in the final year of his contract and hope with Gregorius. Bryson Stott knocking on the door of the elders. Gregorius had another lousy season in 2022 and was released in August. Stott struggled for several months but eventually found his footing in an encouraging way. At the end of May, it was sitting at a miserable .123/.179/.151 hit line for -8 wRC+. Something clicked in June, when from then on it reached .257/.318/.401 for 102 wRC+, increasing its last row to .234/.295/.358 and wRC+ to 83.
The Phillies entered the World Series in 2022 and were eventually relegated to the Astros. They entered this winter with the motivation to rise for another championship run in 2023 and are heavily linked to the “big four” short centre-backs. After turning off the On option jean segura, they had an opening in the second stage and looked determined to get one of the big stoppers as they kicked Stott to the other side of the bag. While they may have some degree of interest in all four, it was reported last week that Turner was their top priority.
With this signing, the Phillies made a splash that would have ripple effects for the rest of the league. The Dodgers, who ousted Turner from the Nats on the 2021 deadline, will now have to consider how they will set their midfielders for next year. They’re reportedly open to the idea of moving Gavin Lux from tier two to short and sitting between the “big four” this winter. Whether these final results are correct will be revealed in time, but Correa, Bogaerts or Swanson don’t look like they’ll have any trouble finding their next employer. The Padres, Giants, Twins, Braves, Red Sox, Orioles and Mariners have been somewhat publicly associated with short centre-backs, as other clubs are certainly in the mix. Some of these teams were probably interested in Turner, but they will now have to go with an option off the board. As Turner turned down a suitable bid, the Dodgers will receive an extra draft pick next year, which has been postponed until after the fourth round as Dodgers has paid the competitive balance tax. The Phils, who also paid a CBT, will lose the second and fifth highest draft picks and will see their international bonus pools reduced by $1 million.
While the Phils will have Turner and Stott in the middle, the rest of the infield changes a bit. Alec Bohm and Rhys Hoskins They may remain in the third and first phase, respectively, as in 2022. However, with Harper having Tommy John surgery and possibly missing the first half of the year, it is speculated that Bohm could move into first place as Hoskins takes more time. while in the designated striker slot Edmundo Sosa takes over in the hot corner. Regardless of how they line up on the pitch, Turner looks poised to add a quick element to a Philadelphia roster leaning on the strong side. Turner can somewhat make up for some of the lost production by not having Harper around in the first half of the year, then we hope Harper joins the club for the second half and postseason. Turner reached .298/.343/.466 for 128 wRC+ in 2022, making 21 home runs and stealing 27 bases along the way.
Financially, the deal will carry the club’s commitments into the future. With both Harper and Turner signing such long deals, the Phils already have two big contracts for the 2031 season and both will be less productive than they are now. Turner will remain on the ledger until 2033. But in the short term, the lower AAV gives the Phils more room to move if they want to raise capital in 2023 with their competitive window wide open. Roster Resource estimates 2023 payrolls of $206 million and the competitive balance tax figure of $218 million. The club paid CBT in 2022 and looks set to do so again as they are now about $15 million away from the $233 million threshold for 2023. on the other side of the line for the second year in a row. The CBT includes increased penalties for repayers, meaning Phils will pay a 30% tax on all expenditures along this line, and larger penalties if it exceeds $20 million.
It’s no surprise that the Phils are aggressive as they make their way back to the World Series again in 2023. However, they will not suffer from competition. Despite their strong post-season run, the club finished third in the league in 2022, behind the Mets and Braves. With the Mets spending wildly in free agency and Atlanta continuing to lock all their young stars into extended overtime, these two clubs are still set to be strong going forward. Turner’s deal was the second major payout for the episode today, as the Mets signed a two-year, $86.66 million deal to replace Verlander. Jacob de Grom on their return. With Spring Training still months away, the Eastern National League is shaping up to be a fascinating challenge again in 2023.
Jeff Passan of ESPN when first declaring that the two parties have reached an agreement Kiley McDaniel of ESPN first reported the specific nature of the agreement and the no-trade clause.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.