If the Los Angeles Dodgers want to keep Trea Turner beyond 2022, one MLB Insider believes that they're going to have to give him a contract with a higher average annual value than what Manny Machado and Corey Seager have left the team to sign for in free agency in recent years.
"Turner is going to get paid. For me, he is the best shortstop that will be on the open market this year, that's even including if Carlos Correa is a free agent if he opts out of his contract with the Twins. And that contract is going to be expensive. He'll get more than Corey Seager."
Murray clarified on Twitter that he isn't necessarily saying that Turner will have a total deal larger than Seager's 10 years and $325 million, but that he will move forward the AAV for star shortstops.
Whether that deal will come from the Dodgers or not remains to be seen.
The Dodgers let Machado go after the 2018 season to sign a 10-year/$300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, but Seager was set to return to play shortstop after missing that season recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers allowed Seager to leave in free agency this past offseason, but had Turner already on their roster ready to shift back from second base to his natural position of shortstop. They don't have such a natural replacement in this case.
Murray noted that the Dodgers -- who Spotrac estimates already have more than $155 million in financial commitments for the 2023 season -- may need to decide whether they want to retain Turner, or begin to work on long-term contracts for Julio Urías (free agent after 2023) and Walker Buehler (free agent after 2024).
At the very least, the door appears to be open for Turner to reach the open market and consider offers from other potential suitors this offseason. Beyond uncertainty about whether the Dodgers will be willing to offer him a contract with a total value north of $300 million, Jon Heyman of The New York Post has reported the 28-year-old is "still believed to prefer the East Coast."
Turner -- whose 12.2 fWAR is second among all position players in baseball since the start of the 2020 season -- figures to draw interest from teams across the sport, though his price tag may limit the teams that could realistically sign him. Bob Nightengale of USA Today has previously reported that the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies could be active in a shortstop market after the 2022 season that could also include the aforementioned Correa and Xander Bogaerts.