In the past two weeks since the All-Star break, the Washington Nationals have gone from a team that had a chance to make movement in a struggling NL East division to a team that is willing to part ways with every player on their roster except for their young superstar right fielder Juan Soto.
Included in that group of players that has been made available by Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is All-Star shortstop Trea Turner.
With superstars such as Turner, fellow National Max Scherzer, and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant expected to find new homes, this trade deadline will be one of the ages.
Turner’s Career Under the Lights
Trea Turner has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Washington Nationals this season, and in reality, has been one of the most consistent pieces in their dugout since making his MLB Debut in 2015 at the age of 22.
Turner was a part of the key three players on offense during the Nationals 2019 World Series run, along with Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto.
Now 28, Turner is enjoying one of his best statistical seasons from the plate and in the infield. His batting splits are phenomenal, with a .320 batting average, .368 on-base percentage, and a .519 slugging percentage. Add on 18 homers, 49 RBIs, and a stellar 21 stolen bases, Trea Turner is a serious offensive threat.
Turner, who just recently tied the record for most cycles in a career with three, finished 7th in MVP voting a year ago and is destined to finish in the top five this year if he is to keep up the pace he is on from the plate.
In his seven-year career, Turner is a lifetime .300 hitter, has smashed 93 total home runs, has swiped 192 bags, and is has just eclipsed 300 RBIs during this season.
So with all of this outstanding play for t, it begs the question, why would the Nationals want to get rid of him?
Why Now and Why Turner?
Nationals star Trea Turner wasn’t really on anyone’s radar, despite his talent clear talent, but now there are reports that he may be on the move.
Due to him being in his prime age as a baseball player and still having one year left before he is free agency eligible, thoughts were that Turner was set to stay in Washington for the time being.
This was also apparent when the Nationals decided to let go of Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon and not fetch up the type of money that the Phillies and Angels did. It was assumed that they decided to invest their money in their future stars, such as Soto and Turner.
But a new report from Peter Gammons claims that the Nationals star shortstop and their upper management have had no talks about their futures together and do not plan on having them soon.
With Turner set for another year of arbitration before he is eligible for free agency in 2023, the time to move on a deal is now if the reports are true.
Turner’s value is almost maxed out with his current situation. Any team who is lucky enough to get the rights to Turner will be able to take advantage of his additional year under arbitration to keep him in their system, and that extra year will also be advantageous to show Turner why he should stay their long term.
For the Nationals, this gives them the leverage, especially since Turner has voiced no interest in leaving DC. The Nationals made it clear that they want to make a change and shake up the roster, but I don’t think that will come without another team paying a hefty price.
One thing that also makes this deal difficult for teams is the recent news from just this past evening that Turner exited the first inning of the Nationals game against the Phillies due to a positive Covid test.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching and a necessary isolation period looming for Turner, this process has just become a whole lot more complicated. Not to mention the effects having Covid has had on a few major leaguers.
Where Does His Future Stand?
Ultimately, I don’t think a deal gets done for the Nationals superstar. With getting a return for star pitcher Max Scherzer being the main focus for the Nats, I find it hard for them to find the time to sift through the reported interests of 15 different teams for Scherzer while finding the right suitor for Turner.
Plus, my opinion is that they still have Turner written down in their future plans. They may have made him openly available on the market, but there is a reason that the Nationals let go of guys like Harper and Rendon, and it was to keep this star shortstop.
If he is not dealt at the deadline, I see the odds of him extending his tenure in Washington skyrocketing. It will ultimately come down to what Turner wants for his future, but if I’m Washington, he has to stay, and I think they will come to the same decision.
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