Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Trea Turner Cracks a Door Open for Contract Talks with LA

Trea Turner came to the Dodgers in a trade-deadline deal last year that also brought Max Scherzer. At the time, Scherzer was seen by many as the highlight of the deal, with Turner included so the Nationals could get back two of the Dodgers top prospects in Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz.

It’s safe to say Dodger fans now think of it as the Trea Turner trade, though. Scherzer pitched well in his few months as a Dodger, but he was ultimately unable to take the ball in Game 6 of the NLCS, a game the Dodgers lost to eliminate them from the postseason. After the season, Scherzer signed a lucrative three-year contract with the Mets.

Turner, meanwhile, is still in Los Angeles and still doing Trea Turner things. He is fourth in the National League with a .305 batting average, fourth with 24 stolen bases, and fourth with 94 RBIs. Batting between Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, he gets plenty of opportunities to score and drive in runs, and between his speed and his .325 batting average with runners in scoring position, he’s capitalized on many of those opportunities.

Turner will be a free agent after this season, and while he and the Dodgers had talked about a possible extension during spring training, they cut off those talks when the season started. As Bill Plunkett writes in the Orange County Register, Turner is starting to think a bit about the resumption of those negotiations.

“We haven’t talked since then,” he said. “But I’m sure we’ll be talking in a few weeks.”

“A few weeks” could mean a lot of different things. Turner could just be referring to whenever the Dodgers’ season ends, hopefully in early November. A more literal reading of “a few weeks” might suggest some conversations in the six days between the end of the Dodgers’ regular-season schedule on October 5 and their first Division Series game on October 11.

Whenever the talks come, it seems likely the Dodgers will try hard to keep Turner in L.A. In the past, there have been rumblings that Turner would only sign in free agency on the east coast, where he and his wife are both from. Turner acknowledges that he helped create that narrative, but he downplays it now.

“I originally said that so I wouldn’t necessarily get traded to certain places. I was trying to control as much as I could – because a lot of it was out of my control,” he said. “Yeah, I’m an East Coast guy. But with free agency, you get a chance to pick and control it as much as you can in your entire career. I’m open to anything really. Everything is in play.

“That was more for a trade and an extension in a place I didn’t really know. I didn’t want to get traded and then get offered an extension right away and not know anything about the city and stuff. … To me, that (decision) would be all based off money and that’s not how I want to make my decision. Obviously, that’s a factor but a lot more goes into it. I think it was more of that.

“Yeah, I’m from the East Coast. Would I like to go back? Sure. But I think L.A.’s been really good to me.”

When Turner talks about “a lot more” going into free agency than just money, you have to like the Dodgers’ chances of retaining the All-Star shortstop, who has spent over a year in the winning atmosphere of Los Angeles. Betts and Freeman are both under contract for many more years, and Turner slotting between them for the foreseeable future would be great for the Dodgers and great for Turner.

Whenever those conversations strike back up, we hope they end in a happy handshake.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. While I totally agree with the gist of this report, I have to believe that given his success, someone back east is going to offer him a really big check. He’s certainly a bigger catch than Seager and we see what Cory got. I fear that the Dodger’s maximum will not be what some other team without existing big contracts will offer.

  2. If he’s smart, he’ll sign in LA and become an icon. Personally, I think he signs in Philly, New York or Atlanta. Hope I’m wrong.

  3. Friedman needs to do everything possible to keep Trea Turner. But you can only do what you can do. The top of the batting order with Betts, Turner, and Freeman is the best I have ever seen. Especially when you factor in defense. And I’m not just talking about Dodger history. I’m talking about all of baseball. Throughout the history of baseball.

    1. Dodger106W I agree. They need to pull out all stops to keep Trea. This top of the lineup is absolutely ridiculous…I can’t imagine another top 3 that would match them. They are totally in sync right now. It’s an exciting time that I hope will continue. I also hope Bellinger finds his groove because he’s becoming a bust. If he goes back to his old 1st half of 2019 self, this lineup will be unstoppable.

  4. $$$$$$ . That’s what it is all about. If LA pays the most, that is where TT stays. Someone else gives bigger offer, so long Trea. Sad to say but this is what it’s become.

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