SAN DIEGO -- Trea Turner had a dominant year-and-a-half run for the Dodgers, but that tenure has come to an end, as the two-time All-Star will reportedly join the Phillies on an 11-year, $300 million deal.
Because Turner had a clear preference of going back to the East Coast, the Dodgers' likelihood of re-signing the Florida native was always slim. In addition, they were always reluctant to offer the number of years he was looking for. Going 11 years for Turner, who turns 30 next season, was never on the table.
Though the Dodgers have been prepared for Turner’s departure, they’ll now have to figure out who will play the position next. After losing Corey Seager to the Rangers after the 2021 season and now Turner to Philadelphia, the Dodgers will be looking for their next star shortstop.
“There’s still a lot of really good players on the market,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “There are just different paths we could go down in terms of how to construct our 26-man roster.”
There are a couple of ways the Dodgers can accomplish that this offseason. The most simple option would be to sign one of the other three star shortstops on the market -- Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts. It has appeared unlikely that Correa would sign with Los Angeles given his connection to the 2017 Astros, but that could change now that Turner is off the market.
Bogaerts could also be an option, as he has a strong connection with Mookie Betts from their time in Boston. Keeping Betts, who will be the face of the franchise for the next decade, happy is a priority for the Dodgers, but signing Correa or Bogaerts won't be cheap, and both are likely to demand a long-term extension.
The Dodgers could also dip their toes in the trade market, with Brewers shortstop Willy Adames the best fit. Los Angeles has shown interest in Adames, and if the Brewers are open to trading him, the Dodgers are prepared to do what it takes to land him. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman traded for Adames once already during his tenure with Tampa Bay.
Milwaukee might be more inclined to deal Adames at the Trade Deadline, however, similar to the way the club dealt Josh Hader this past August. That, of course, would depend on the Brewers not being in contention for the postseason.
If none of those options work, the Dodgers would feel comfortable handing the position to Gavin Lux. Lux was the Dodgers’ starting second baseman last season, but the former top prospect came up through the system as a shortstop. He also played well defensively while filling in for an injured Seager in ‘21.
“I think just the experience we have with him coming up through the Minor Leagues and then also the two-month sample [in 2021] when Seager was hurt, he handled himself really well," said Friedman. "And that’s his natural position. So I think it’s easier for him to do that than anything else we’ve asked him to do.”
If Lux moves to shortstop, the Dodgers could use Max Muncy more at second base, as well as Betts, who loves playing the position. Miguel Vargas and Chris Taylor could also play second base. (Lux will be playing shortstop or second base next season. There has been no talk of him playing third base, as has been reported.)
The Dodgers have a few months to figure things out, but now we know that it won’t be Turner at short for the next decade.
“We had a lot of different conversations [with Turner] over the last year with his camp and we had a pretty good feel for what they’re looking for,” Friedman said. “They had a pretty good feel for where we were. ... It’s kind of what makes the world go ‘round.”