Trea Turner

Offseason free agency always brings some huge surprises. Witness the Texas Rangers signing ace Jacob deGrom on Friday.

Now comes this surprising report from The Athletic: The San Diego Padres have reportedly met not once, but twice, with free agent shortstop Trea Turner.

That’s surprising for a couple of reasons. First, the Padres already have a talented young shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr. Although he’s still serving an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s PED policy, he’s eligible to return April 20. Turner has made roughly 90 career starts at both second base and in the outfield during his career, so perhaps San Diego is thinking along those lines.

Also, Turner is expected to command a long-term contract in the range of $300 million or more. The Padres already have two players in that hefty salary range, Tatis and third baseman Manny Machado. They’re also expected to be seeking a deal well north of that figure with outfielder Juan Soto, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.

Not to say Turner would not be a sweet addition to any team that can afford his asking price. He’s a two-time All-Star with a career slash line of .302/.355/.487. He’s still just 29.

The Philadelphia Phillies are widely viewed as the most likely landing sport for Turner, although there’s a possibility he re-signs with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s a crazy thought, but what if the Padres are just going through the motions with Turner to drive up the division-rival Dodgers’ cost if they opt to retain the shortstop?

If the Padres do sign Turner, he will have come full circle in his career. San Diego drafted him in the first round of the 2014 MLB June Draft before trading him to the Washington Nationals.

MLB fans on Twitter disagreed on whether Turner and the Padres are a real deal, or even a good idea.

[The Athletic]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.