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Phillies, Trea Turner agree on 11-year, $300 million contract, source says

Scott Lauber, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

SAN DIEGO — The Phillies got their man.

Again.

Trea Turner, the Phillies’ top target all along in a free-agent market overflowing with star shortstops, has agreed on an 11-year, $300 million contract that includes a full no-trade clause, a source said Monday as the winter meetings got underway at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The deal has not yet been announced because it is pending a physical.

Turner, 29, will join Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto, Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins, and eventually, his close friend Bryce Harper in headlining a multitalented Phillies lineup that includes power and speed. Turner’s appeal — more than fellow free-agent shortstops Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson — is that he provides both. He’s a two-time 20-homer/20-steal player.

The Phillies are expected to move Bryson Stott to second base to open shortstop for Turner, who teamed with Harper for four seasons with the Washington Nationals. Turner also reunites with hitting coach Kevin Long, with whom he worked in Washington and had two of his best seasons.

It marks the fifth consecutive offseason that Phillies ownership, fronted by John Middleton, has authorized a seismic move in free agency. The club signed Harper to a 13-year, $330 million deal in the 2018-19 offseason, followed by Zack Wheeler (five years, $118 million), Realmuto (five years, $115.5 million), and Schwarber (four years, $79 million) and Castellanos (five years, $100 million) in successive offseasons.

In each case, the Phillies targeted the players and signed them.

In terms of total value, Turner’s contract ranks second in franchise history behind only Harper. Turner’s $27.27 million average annual salary is the highest ever for a Phillies player — and roughly the sum of the 2022 salaries of middle-infield tandem Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius.

As they did with Harper four years ago, the Phillies worked with Turner on elongating the term of the contract and lowering the average annual value, which is used for luxury-tax calculations. In structuring the contract as they did, the Phillies maintained flexibility to make other moves in the short term.

 

Once the Turner contract is official, the Phillies will be about $21 million short of the $233 million luxury-tax threshold. They figure to turn their focus to the pitching market. Specifically, they’re seeking a middle-of-the-rotation starter and back-end relief help.

Turner, a Florida native, spent the last season and a half with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He batted .298/.343/.466 with 21 homers and 27 steals last season. But upon becoming a free agent, Turner was believed to prefer a return to the East Coast. His wife is from New Jersey.

During an appearance on a Phillies telecast in August, Harper said Turner is “my favorite player in the league.” In turn, Turner is a well-known F.O.B — “Friend of Bryce.” At the All-Star Game in July, he said Harper was “leading [the Phillies] in the right direction.”

And after the Phillies came within two victories of winning the World Series, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the club was poised to make another big offseason move.

“We’re going to push the needle and try and win it,” Dombrowski said. “I mean, we’re close, right? We’re going to do what we can to make our club a championship-caliber club.”

Turner is a .302/.355/.487 hitter with 124 homers and 230 steals in eight major-league seasons. The San Diego Padres, who drafted Turner in 2014 and traded him to Washington in a three-team deal in 2015, were reportedly in the mix to reacquire him.

But once again, the Phillies got their top target.

©2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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