Trea Turner declined higher offer from west-coast contender to come play in Philadelphia
For the fifth season in a row, the Phillies got their #1 free agent target, inking Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300M deal, the longest deal ever for a middle-infielder.
But according to Matt Gelb of The Athletic, Turner’s offer with the Phillies wasn’t the most money that was offered. The Padres were reportedly shooting to make Trea Turner the highest-paid shortstop in baseball, surpassing Francisco Lindor’s $341M contract with the New York Mets. Turner ultimately chose Philadelphia over SD.
“____ chose Philadelphia” has become a pretty common saying over the last few years, specifically with the Phillies. The Phillies, in five seasons, have now inked Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, Zack Wheeler, Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, and Trea Turner all to new contracts.
Why did Trea Turner choose Philadelphia? His wife, Kristen, is from Flemington, NJ. The Turners live in Florida, and Trea wanted his spring training to be back on the east coast. Turner had a past relationship with Kevin Long, along with Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwabrer, and Howie Kendrick. It just made sense.
Matt Gelb: “The Phillies were not the high bidder for Trea Turner”
“According to major-league sources familiar with the negotiations, who were granted anonymity because the deal has yet to be finalized, Dombrowski had received enough credible intel to know this: The Phillies were not the high bidder for Turner. The two sides had a gap to bridge, and even then, it would be short of the total guaranteed dollars another team had offered.”
“That team, multiple sources involved in the talks later revealed as the San Diego Padres, had a legitimate interest; they had met twice with Turner and were armed with an aggressive owner and general manager. San Diego’s engagement is what compelled Turner’s agent, Jeff Berry of CAA Sports, to contact other clubs a few days before the Winter Meetings to ask for offers.”
Will Trea Turner be the same player he is now in 2031? Absolutely not. But the Phillies aren’t worried about that. They’ve proved that they’re determined to win now, which was a part of this culture that really changed with the addition of Dave Dombrowski.
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The combination of Middleton and Dombrowski has been the pros when it comes to long-term deals. The two longest deals in MLB history belong both to the Phillies. Why do they do this? It shows their players that they believe in them, and they never want them to play in a different uniform for the rest of their careers.
Even with the Turner signing, the Phillies middle-infield duo will be cheaper in 2023 (Turner, Stott) than it was to start 2022 (Gregorious, Segura). The addition of Turner will certainly elevate Bryson Stott’s game, a player who already showed a massive jump toward the end of the 2022 season. He’ll now be able to return to second base, where he’s most comfortable, and along with Turner, play for a gold glove.
The casual Phillies fan won’t understand how big of a signing Trea Turner is to this organization, and that’s fine. They hear the name, and they say, “cool, another star.” But Turner is culture-changing. He’s elite in every aspect of his game. He’s a 2x All-Star, Silver Slugger winner, and a batting title holder. He’s hit over .300 in five of his eight seasons in the league while averaging around 18 HRs a year and 20 stolen bases.
The Phillies now have an infield of Rhys Hoskins, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner, and Alec Bohm. They have 15 ASG appearances, 8 Silver Slugger awards, 2 MVPs, and 2 WS championships combined in their Top 5 guys in their order. They have three fantastic starting pitchers and three young prospects that this clubhouse hasn’t seen in its existence. This team is going to be elite for a long, long time.