Trea Turner, the lightning-fast shortstop who has burgeoned into a perennial MVP candidate, has a deal to join the Philadelphia Phillies, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Turner is reportedly set to sign an 11-year, $300 million deal with the team. The contract includes a full no-trade clause.
The move ensures Turner will pair with Bryce Harper in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future. Both Harper and Turner signed similar deals with the Phillies, fully committing to the franchise for the long term. Turner's 11-year term and $300 million total both handily exceeded expectations. FanGraphs' crowdsourced projections pegged Turner for a seven-year, $210 million deal. However, the longer term actually creates a lower average annual value — $27.27 million per year — which will help general manager Dave Dombrowski's big-spending Phillies in calculating their annual competitive balance tax.
Turner, who will turn 30 in June, won the 2019 World Series with the Washington Nationals and cemented himself as a superstar with a power uptick that began in 2020. His all-around abilities gained more recognition after a 2021 trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he seamlessly joined and then replaced Corey Seager.
Turner reached free agency as one of the winter’s quartet of potential franchise shortstops, and there’s a strong case to be made that he’s the best of them.
Since 2020, he leads all major-league shortstops in FanGraphs WAR. He has 61 homers and 71 steals in that span, making him one of only three players with at least 50 of both, alongside José Ramírez and Ronald Acuña Jr. He won the 2021 batting title with a .328 average and has twice led the National League in hits. Thanks to excellent bat control — and again, the speed — Turner routinely runs one of baseball’s best BABIPs, making it difficult to keep him off the bases.
Turner has largely put injury woes early in his career behind him. He played all 162 games in 2018 and has missed a total of 16 games the past three seasons.
The biggest qualm about Turner is how his speed-based production will age. He could face a steeper decline when he begins to lose a step and his many doubles and triples shrink into singles and doubles. Serviceable but less sure-handed at shortstop than some of his rivals, he might be asked to move to second base (or possibly center field) in the near future.
Turner's contract will inspire comparisons to Seager’s 10-year, $325 million deal with the Rangers from last offseason and the deals to be reached by Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson this winter.
Analyzing the Phillies' long-term pact with Turner
Does it make sense for the Phillies?
Would you want to face a lineup coming at you with some combination of Turner, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto? That whooshing sound you hear is everyone in the NL East vigorously shaking their heads. No, you don’t want to face that lineup. For at least the next three or four seasons, it’s going to be ferocious.
The elephant in the room is what Turner, a speed-based player, will look like in his mid-30s and beyond. This deal will keep him in Philadelphia until he’s 40, and his skills don’t immediately present as the kind that will age gracefully.
But Dombrowski, ever aggressive in his pursuit of elite stars, had a hole in the middle infield and a roster perhaps overly reliant on lumbering power hitters. Turner reshapes that immediately, giving the Phillies a more well-rounded attack. The signing also likely means Bryson Stott, a rookie shortstop who improved as the 2022 season went on, will likely move over to second base.
This is a team that just clawed its way to a pennant and will need to continue upping the ante to keep up with the Mets and Braves. And it’s being run by an executive and a team owner in John Middleton who are unafraid to pay top dollar for top talent. In this case, they have reeled in one of the winter’s most appealing players for a $27.27 million annual salary that trails other recent contracts, including Corey Seager’s, Manny Machado’s and Anthony Rendon’s. For now, it’s a bargain. And if Turner slows down in five, six or seven years, the Phillies can wring their hands about it then — possibly with rings on their fingers.
Does it make sense for Turner?
Hey, baseball contracts are fully guaranteed. By securing 11 years, even at a lower annual salary, Turner is collecting something on the high end of the total millions he could have foreseen entering the offseason.
He has been the straw that stirs the drink in some excellent lineups — the recent Dodgers and the 2019 Nationals — and looks likely to seamlessly join a new one. He will also be reunited in Philly with Kevin Long, the hitting coach who oversaw his ascent toward MVP candidacy in Washington.