We continue to hear that Trea Turner wants to sign with an east coast team. Trea is from Florida and attended North Carolina State University. Turner’s wife is also from the east coast (New Jersey) and attended North Carolina State University. Both families are back east. Thus the prognosis seems very reasonable. I have not been shy about my desire to see Trea Turner as the LAD SS for years and years. But he has to want to.
IMO, as long as the difference in contract offers is not outrageous, I do believe it is reasonable to think that Trea would prefer to stay closer to family. But certainly not an absolute. From all that I can gather from all reports, Trea loves playing for the Dodgers. Trea wants to win, and he acknowledges that LAD will always be a contender, and give him a chance to win every year. The Dodgers have the money to spend (if they want).
But for the moment, let’s consider that Trea will push hard to move back east. I have zero idea as to what he may want in terms of contract dollars. He is 29, and some are speculating that Turner will command Corey Seager level money. If that is true, I do not believe that AF will seriously consider Turner to be an option for LAD SS for the long term.
What options will he have on the east coast?
- He is from Florida, but neither the Marlins nor Rays will spend the dollars. Besides the Rays have Wander Franco tied up at SS.
- Atlanta – Atlanta will do whatever they can to re-sign Dansby Swanson. If Atlanta cannot re-sign Dansby Swanson it will be because of money. There is zero chance they would pass on Swanson and then sign Trea for more. The Braves have been very fortunate to be able to bring up MiLB players and have them play extraordinarily well. Perhaps they are willing to roll the dice with Braden Shewmake as their SS.
- Washington Nationals – They are perhaps a 5-7 years away from contention. Trea will not go back. Plus , there is no news on the new ownership group that will be assuming these contracts.
- NYY – Will the Yankees stay on the Anthony Volpe course? He may not be ready at the beginning of 2023, but it will not be long. If Aaron Judge does leave, that could free up $$$ for Turner, and Volpe could be used to get pitching or move to 2B.
- NYM – Francisco Lindor. Trea Turner, not happening.
- Boston – Will undoubtedly lose Xander Bogaerts, and they have to money to spend for Turner and to keep the team a contender.
- Philadelphia – They need a SS. Bryson Stott is finally starting to come into his own, but he could slide over to 2B. It is almost a certainty that Philadelphia will buyout the $17MM Jean Segura option for $1MM. Philadelphia has the money to spend (if they want). Bryce Harper is already recruiting Turner.
- SF – Not east coast, but has to be a consideration. The Giants will be in the long term discussion for Aaron Judge. But if those talks go south, Farhan has indicated that with the departure of Brandon Crawford, and no true internal replacement until Marco Luciano is deemed ready, they would turn their focus to SS. SF has the money, and the desire to compete for a championship in 2023. And nothing would make SF happier than to “steal” away Trea Turner from LAD. With Buster Posey and Crawford out of the picture, Trea Turner could become the face for the Giants. Would that mean anything to him? I get the distinct impression that would not be a factor in Trea’s decision.
IMO it will come down to Philadelphia and LAD. If the offers are close, Turner goes to Philadelphia, and the Dodgers will get a compensatory pick after the 4th round.
MiLB Game Summary
by Harold Uhlman
OKC Dodgers 16 vs El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 3
On the Mound
The Dodgers now out of the running for their division championship gave a good portion of their pitching a staff an outing on Sunday.
Ryan Pepiot started and and pitched a clean inning with two strikeouts on 12 pitches, 10 of them strikes.
Jose Adamas followed Pepiot and went two innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out two.
Adamas was followed by Beau Burrows for another two innings in which he gave two hits but no runs and struck out one.
Logan Salow struck out the side in the sixth inning allowing just one walk.
Things definitely did not go so smoothly in the seventh inning as Yency Almonte was charged with two earned runs on two hits. He was replaced by Keone Kela who gave up a hit allowing two inherited runners to score. Those were the runs charged to Almonte.
Kela returned in the bottom of the eighth inning and retired El Paso allowing one hit in the inning.
Aaron Ochsenbein finished up with a scoreless ninth inning.
At the Plate
The Dodger bats had produced just six runs in their past three losing games with El Paso which eliminated them from play-off contention.
They fared much better on Sunday with two-three run innings.
In the third inning Drew Avans continued with his hot bat and stroked his seventh home run following singles by Jason Martin and Tony Wolters.
They struck for three more in the top of the fifth inning. Omar Estevez singled and scored on a Drew Avans triple. Avans scored on a Ryan Noda sacrifice fly. Rehabbing Kevin Pillar produced the third run in the inning on a home run (10) to center field.
Edwin Rios drove home the Dodgers seventh run in the seventh inning with a double (16) following a James Outman walk and Jason Martin single.
They struck again in the top of the eighth inning with Saturday’s missing power bats now on display. Drew Avans walked and came home on a Ryan Noda home run (25) to center field. A Kevin Pillar single and a Michael Busch walk extended the inning for James Outman who cranked a three-run home run (14) to right center field.
Not content with a 12-3 advantage OKC scored four more in the top of the ninth inning. Kevin Pillar with his fourth hit of the day drove in one run with a double following a Drew Avans single and a Ryan Noda HBP. Edwin Rios put an exclamation mark on the game with a three-run home run (9) driving home Noda and Pillar.
Player of the Game – Drew Avans
Outfielder Drew Avans nudged out Kevin Pillar. Avans missed the cycle by a double. On the day he had three hits and a walk. He drove in four runs and scored four.
Seven OKC pitchers struck out 11 on the day and issued just one walk.
Is Kevin Pillar making an unexpected run for a LA Dodger post-season roster spot? He had four hits on Sunday, including a home run, scored three runs and drove in two. He played strong outfield defense.
In their must win series with El Paso the OKC Dodgers outscored their opponents 46-25 yet won only two games in the series. In the first and last games in the six-game set they scored 16 runs in each game holding El Paso to a total of four runs.
In between in three of their losses they scored only two runs in each game and losing three by one run.
Kevin Pillar looked like he came to play on Sunday both at the plate and in the field.
Drew Avans is one of those invisible players who doesn’t get noticed. This was posted on August 17.
Philadelphia. Makes sense geographically. I have no idea what projected wins might be there but that’s a very competitive Division. He’s gotta know the pennant goes through LA, especially with him here. But that East Coast West Coast thing is real. Flip of the coin at this point, though we have no real idea what he is thinking. I wonder what Bogaerts is thinking? I like him.
It might be nice to drive San Diego further down in the standings but I’m not sure it’s worth a lot of effort to go so. It’s about staying vertical at this point. Everybody plays but nobody plays extended innings. Be smart from here on out.
Bogaerts? He is going to opt out. He knows he can get more than $60MM over 3 three years. He is actually playing a decent SS this year. Better than Trea. Xander is 9 months older than Trea, so not that big of an issue. But the big issue is SCOTT BORAS. I have a ill feeling in my gut that Boras is going to wait until Turner signs and then try to beat that deal for Xander.
I would bet that if AF is interested in Xander, that he goes to Mookie and asks for his honest opinion. I have no knowledge whatsoever, but he looks to have the same bubbly personality of Mookie, and would fit in nicely.
What position are the Dodgers the weakest. Lux and Betts could be a middle infield but that would leave 3 spots in the outfield that is in need and two if Betts stays in RF.
They need outfielders more than pitchers or infielders.
Perusing FA outfielders I see none worth chasing. Nimmo? I doubt it. Thompson and Gallo intrigue me, as does Outman.
What does Mookie want? I think he’d be All League at second. I also think if Lux started working out at short he’d be fine over there. He needs to fix that cavalier flip he likes so much. You’re a shortstop, throw like one dammit.
What does Mookie want? That is a good question, and I do think it is something that should be asked. He hits as a corner OFer, and plays GG defense. He is the best RF in the game. Okay 2nd best this year to Aaron Judge. But could his legs hold up better at 2B? I honestly do not know, but Mookie might.
I think Lux could be the All Star 2B over the next several years. But I am not sure he is an upper tier ML SS. I am a Lux advocate, but I too am tired of that lack of concentration with his throws. That throw yesterday was Rookie League. I know he continues to work with his hitting. Is he putting in as much work with his D? I think next year he will be a tremendous 2B, but an average SS. The Dodgers need an elite SS.
I would be comfortable going with Trayce Thompson and James Outman in the OF with Mookie. Maybe the Dodgers make another run at Bryan Reynolds. I have been pushing him for years now. He has three years of team control, and I do not think Pittsburgh will be a contender in the next three years. His contract is $6.75MM for 2023. In half a year, Thompson has a bWAR of 1.8 vs 3.1 for full year for Reynolds.
I do think Nimmo is a viable candidate for CF. The best choice? No. But better than what the Dodgers have this year. I would prefer Reynolds, but he may not be available and we know that Nimmo will be.
Well stated in both posts Jeff.
I too prefer an All World shortstop, but I think WAR and sound defensive play can come from a lot of sources. Gavin Lux was drafted as a shortstop and was moved because of first Seager then Turner. Tough acts to replace. If he were with a different organization he would have likely stayed at short and improved his abilities there. He will be 25 next year. He’s one of the fastest guys in the league and it’s my opinion that if he was given the shortstop position he’d be fine there. He’s got 4 years in the league and has been asked to play 7 positions in those 4 years. That’s both impressive and crazy. A young high draft pick should not be asked to learn how to be a Major League player and play that many positions at the same time. Focus. This is your job. Be the best you can beat it.
All that said, yes, I would rather see Turner or Bogaerts, their experience and their 5+ WAR at short for the next 5 years.
I like Lux at short and Betts at second.
Lux and Cartaya for Wander Franco. Preferably Lux and Rushing for Franco. Friedman can decide who else would be involved.
Sure, trade for Reynolds. Bellinger and $10M? Who else?
I agree that it will be between LA and the Phillies, with the Phillies a slight favorite to sign Trea.
I think his heart is on the East coast. But I also think he loves winning. He is not going to change things a whole lot going to Philly. Nothing they have done there recently has changed that. They still are way behind the Mets and Braves. That being said, I think the Giants are a longshot. Dodgers have the upper hand right now if the guy wants to win. If he just wants to go home, let him. Lux is no SS.
Jeff, I was really surprised by your comment that you’d be willing to start next year with an outfield of Mookie, Trayce and Outman. Although Trayce has been a huge help this year, it’s still only 200 at bats and he’s striking out about 36% of the time.
I’m a big TT fan, but I’m not willing to assume that what we’ve seen for these few weeks can be sustained over a full season, let alone multiple seasons.
Outman (again, I’m a big fan) still has to prove himself and I doubt they’d just hand him the job out of spring training, especially if Trayce was one of the other outfielders.
At their best, those two are really great, but it just doesn’t strike me as the kind of move AF would make. I think Gallo is definitely gone next year but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us sign a free agent or make a trade for someone more proven. Bryan Reynolds certainly fits that description. I wonder what the Sox would want for Louis Robert? Anyone want to take a chance on Kelenic? The Mariners certainly don’t need him at this point, but would probably ask for a lot more than we’d be willing to give them. He may very well be one of those guys who kills it in the minors but never makes it in the majors. He is intriguing though.
And here’s another question. If Mookie can play second, why couldn’t he play shortstop, as long as Fred is ready to move him to the infield. I’m in the camp that wants Lux to stay at second.
That is not my ideal choice. But I would feel comfortable with it. Atlanta did just fine with Michael Harris III in CF straight out of AA. IMO Outman improves the overall play of CF over Cody Bellinger. I just do not believe the Dodgers can afford a 75 OPS+ as a fulltime CF. Career OPS+ of 117 is not too enticing either, especially at $17MM+. So unless you believe that Bellinger can return to being a plus CF offensively, there has to be a change…right?
Luis Robert is a shade better than the average player. But he does have a favorable contract. He is owed $37MM over the next three years, and then 2 $20MM options for 2026/2027, with $2MM buyout. The ChiSox will be looking for another OF as AJ Pollock is not the answer for them, and they believe they can contend in a week AL Central. I think there is as much of a chance of getting Luis Robert out of Chicago as AF has with moving Cody Bellinger for Michael Harris III.
Trayce has been good this year. Not elite or great. I do not automatically assume that it is an aberration. And I am not assuming that you believe that either. Trayce was on his way of being a very serviceable OF before his back injury. He is controllable thru 2025 with arbitration beginning this winter. Braves won a WS with Adam Duvall. I prefer Trayce to Jurickson Profar. Trayce’s 1st game was June 21. From that day thru last Sunday, the Dodgers with Trayce and Cody have gone 66 and 22. .750 percentage of those 88 games. Not because of Trayce/Cody. But they did not hurt.
How about Alex Verdugo? Cedric Mullins? TJ Friedl? Christopher Morrell? Nick Senzel? Jake Fraley? Ian Happ? Andrew Benintendi (large multi-year contract)?
Check into Christian Yelich? Wil Myers figures to be available.
I do not believe that it will be Trayce and Outman in LF/CF or CF/LF. I also believe it will be Cody Bellinger in CF.
Some interesting names you’ve brought up:
Friedl, Morel, Senzel, Fraley – I don’t see them as any improvement over what we have (Trayce, CT3, Vargas, Outman) even if we actually dfa Belli (which I don’t expect).
Mullins – he’s really only had one stand out year, even including the minors, so no thank you. I imagine the cost would be too high.
Myers – I’ll take Trayce at a much lower price
Yelich – I’m a fan, but I think his back problems are way too big a risk and he hasn’t had a standout season in 3 years.
Happ, Verdugo – would be happy with either of these guys at the right price (player-wise).
Benintendi – I like him, but I’m convinced someone would offer him more than AF.
Reynolds – we have plenty to offer if they actually want to move him.
I think that was my point. Trayce and Outman really are not that much of a reach. I still believe it will be Mookie, Belli, Outman, Thompson as the 4 outfielders. CT3 will go back to the swiss army knife. Here is another name…Taylor Ward. Brandon Marsh?
Ward? He’s pre-arb. Why would the Angels move him? Same with Marsh.
I know there was talk about the QA, but it’s still in effect, right?