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Dodgers: What Would a Trea Turner Contract Extension Look Like?

Next winter could be the same plot with different characters for the Dodgers. Hopefully, it has a different ending. Trea Turner now plays the role of Corey Seager. A superstar shortstop who has just one season left before he’s eligible for a free agent payday.

The Dodgers reportedly offered Corey Seager an extension during 2021 spring training.

If they take a similar approach with Trea Turner, what would that extension look like?

Since Turner became an everyday shortstop in 2016, he ranks near the top in almost every meaningful offensive static amongst shortstops. He’s in the top six in batting average, slugging, wOBA, wRC+, WAR, and OPS. Not to mention, Trea leads the entire MLB in stolen bases during that timeframe (201).

He’s one of the best players in baseball and the Dodgers will have to pay up to keep him.

A Long Term Extension for Turner

Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers reportedly offered Seager an eight-year, $250 million dollar extension. An offer to Turner could fall in a similar range, if not higher.

An eight-year, $280 million dollar extension would make Turner the highest paid shortstop in the league right now by average annual value (AAV) at $35M per year. Those numbers slot Trea ahead of the Mets Francisco Lindor ($34.1M) and Corey Seager ($32.5M).

However, would Trea want more than eight years on his contract?

Unlike Seager, Trea has been remarkably durable throughout his career. One would assume that did play a role in LA not countering the ten-year deal that Texas offered Seager.

The Dodgers could be more aggressive with the length of a Turner extension. Team President Andrew Friedman has proven he’ll sign elite talent for a decade. See Mookie Betts for more information.

With that in mind, a 10-year, $350 million dollar deal for a true five-tool shortstop might not be out of the question.

The High AAV Friedman Special

Another play in the playbook for the Dodgers is a shorter term, high AAV contract for Turner. The Dodgers have employed this strategy in past offers to starter Trevor Bauer and outfielder Bryce Harper.

It would take some onions to offer it, but a four-year, $160M dollar contract could appeal to the speedy shortstop.

A shorter deal above the current market rate ($40M AVV) would allow Turner to re-enter the market before his age 33 season. Presumably, Trea would still have a few prime years left and could fetch a sizable, multi-year deal again.

Final Thoughts

The new CBA, which hopefully, is coming sooner than later, could drastically alter the salary landscape. This writer is foolish, but not foolish enough to try to guess what the new salary cap looks like come 2022. Nor how those economics affect the thought process of the Dodgers front office.

Regardless, we should have a clearer picture of the new world of superstar shortstop compensation once the lockout ends. The new contracts for Carlos Correa and Trevor Story will be strong indicators.

There isn’t another shortstop, hell, another player, quite like Trea Turner. He can do everything, at a high level. Trea agreed to switch to a position he hadn’t played in years when he came to the Dodgers. He’s a natural fit in the clubhouse and knows how to play winning baseball. He publicly took full accountability for his 2021 playoff shortcomings. Quite simply, he just feels like a Dodger.

Losing Seager was a tough pill to swallow. Losing Turner the following year would be akin to chugging an entire bottle of eggnog flavored Robitussin.

The Dodgers need to do everything they can to re-write the ending this time around.

Dodgers Analyst Says Players are Not Worried About MLB Lockout Just Yet

25 Comments

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  1. If the Dodgers are serious about making Turner their full-time shortstop for the next however many years, they should start the negotiations as soon as possible once the CBA is settled and lock him up before the rest of the world has a shot at signing him similar to what they did with Betts.

  2. Would be hard to justify letting Trea leave & having nothing to show for trading away Josiah Gray & Keibert Ruiz!
    Really hard to justify!!!

    • Exactly right–that trade package was a hefty one for two players who might only end up giving the Dodgers about twelve total months of service time.

      Gerardo Castillo might end up being a very good reliever, and Donovan Casey might be a decent bench player, to boot. The Nationals could end up looking very brilliant. We will see.

    • The Dodgers had too many catching prospects. Ruiz wouldn’t reach his full potential as Smiths backup and Smith certainly would become a part time player. As far as Gray goes he’d likely become injury prone or underperformer. Seems to be the trend with our last few prospects

    • I seem to remember the Dodgers got another player from the Nats – oh yeah, Max Scherzer! What a great trade. Too bad Max went for MAX contract! Hopeful Trea will sign LT deal with Dodgers

  3. Meh. As fantastic as a player that Trea Turner is, there are some question marks surrounding him when it comes to making a long term 10 year commitment.

    First off, you’d be paying him until age 39. Next, you have to look at the details of what makes him a good baseball player. His number game, obviously, is his speed, which has been proven to be the first thing to go as a player reaches his 30s. He could also be literally only one ligament injury away from having his number one tool rendered useless.

    With the bat, he’s always been more above average than otherworldly elite (which is what I believe should be the #1 factor that should get you paid when we’re talking about that kind of money). He does not walk at all, and his high batting average are a result of his high batting average on balls in play, which are a result of his elite speed, which as I covered, is very likely to decline swiftly and suddenly.

    His power is interesting, because he’s a wiry guy who doesn’t necessarily “mash” in terms of having this big, raw power that we’re used to seeing from true sluggers. But still, he had 28 homers while being a shortstop for 2/3 of the year, which was 4th in the majors at that position behind Tatis (duh), Baez, and Bichette. And ahead of the “elite” Correa and Seager.

    It seems his power is a result of amazingly quick wrists (ala Mookie) and admittedly very nice mechanics. It’ll be interesting to see how long he can keep it up, as again, all it takes is one unfortunate bounce of the ball (or HBP) and suddenly that power dissipates. The same argument could theoretically be applied to Mookie, and I wasn’t quite a fan of a 12 year deal, but Mookie has two things going for him: he has a leglt elite knowledge of the strike zone (he walks at high rates AND strikes out less than the MLB average), AND he also plays an elite defense in right field or center and can play second base in a pinch (and I’m pretty sure will play at least an above average shortstop if he ever were to try it at the major league level, which I am totally in favor for). Trea Turner is better defensively than Seager, but he’s no Fernando Tatis Jr.

    I am also not sure as to where this narrative of staying healthy comes, as he’s only had a full (162-game) season twice in his career, if you count his 148 games as full, which I do. But regardless, there’s always injury risk with any player, especially for that many years, so I find that point to be moot.

    I think we should stop with always trying to get the best free agent or trade target out there every year. This comes at a cost of major money, prospect capital, or both. Right now, we’re not in the same position as were in 2017. Our farm system has taken a huge hit and we have major holes to fill while having to deal with a very high payroll, which is the first time we’ve had this problem since the early days of Friedman. I would focus on replenishing the farm system and keep adding at the margins instead of looking for the next big splash. I would only give generational money to true, once in a generation players (the Harpers, Trouts, Mookies of the world).
    Trea Turner is a very good player, but he most likely won’t stay at this borderline elite level for long and probably won’t even sniff the Hall of Fame. I’d rather watch him go or trade him for a similar player with slightly more control (though I know this could be difficult as this is his last year of team control).

    The same with Bellinger. We’ve see him that he could be an elite, top five player of the game. We’ve also seen that he can a bottom five player of the game, lol. This might be an exaggeration because of his HOF defense in CF/RF and his elite speed, but man, can he look bad with the bat at times! I’d wait and see if he can put up a season more like 2018 or the shortened 2020 (above average but nothing close to best in the game with the bat). If he can do that this season, which I’m pretty sure he will (I mean, who actually thinks he’s gonna have another season where he was over 50% BELOW leage average offensively), I’ll look to trade him next winter. You forget that he has Scott Boras as his agent, and Boras is going to be selling Belly based on his 2019 MVP first half, not 2023 Cody Bellinger (when he’ll be a free agent). Of course, if he can put up an MVP season like 2019 consistently, from April to September (and to a lesser extent, October), then yes, obviously that’s deserving of top-5 players in the game and obviously, top-5 dollars. Therefore, if he can put up that kind of season in 2022, I would seriously consider giving him that generational money I was talking about, especially since it’d be coming right at the heels of his worst professional season. If he doesn’t come close, then move on. There’s no need for drama and pretending we’ll give him 2019 NL MVP money when we won’t. Just trade him for some strong prospects/controllable players and let him be someone else’s problems (if he turns out to be more 2018 Bellinger, which I believe he will be).

    This offseason, I’d sign a couple of pitchers (including bringing back Kershaw), maybe take a look at a guy like J-Ram, and lock up my two young aces (Buehler and Urias). Nothing too crazy but fair for their age and performance. Give them and us a little security for a few extra years. I would save this Trea Turner generational money for an actual generational player who’ll be a free agent in a couple of years (hint hint, he also is very closely connected to the Nationals). For that guy, I would give a $400 million dollar contract, maybe even $450 million over 12 years. He’s the only one who fits the mold of an elite (nay LEGENDARY!) bat, decent to arguably above-average tools everywhere else, extremely young, and who hasn’t been locked up yet. Show me a player right now who has those qualities and I’ll agree with you that we should give him big-time money. Anyways, sorry for the rant. I got bored and needed to say this. In summary, Trea Turner’s a good player. But I don’t we should get too crazy when he have other problems right now to focus on (MLB lockout notwithstanding). I’d be happy to know other Dodger fans’ thoughts!

    • Paralysis by analysis. He is in the barn, he is a top 10 guy, you make an offer, and negotiate on the counter to the offer. Works or it doesn’t, but an excellent option provided by AF for prospects. Prospects are just bets by the organization for long term talent. The win/lose line is never great.

    • Soto contract will be the new record. Boras brought him to the wild card game and put him in the front row to show him off to the fan base and to show Soto the LA fan base. Boras started working that contract that night. TT extension will be pocket change by then, and he and Soto are tight.

  4. He’s not a Boras client so perhaps it isn’t all about the dollars with Tturn. He is – however – an Easterner, so that may be a factor. Doubt he would bite on the extension that Seager turned down and it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers offer him a bigger one. He doesn’t have Seager’s upside, but he also doesn’t have Seager’s downside. He’s a better long term investment in Dodger bucks.

  5. Lux is not even in the same conversation. A hot dog player with no long term mlb success. Trade the this mediocre player for some starting pitching.

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