The Phillies have been red-hot in the month of June, playing themselves back into the playoff hunt with an 18-6 record this month. But it’s never too early to think about moves the team could make down the road.
According to one report, the Phillies have the inside track on a big name to fill a key spot.
USA Today MLB columnist Bob Nightengale wrote that he spoke with “several talent evaluators” who believe that All-Star shortstop Trea Turner will sign with the Phillies after the 2022 season.
The free-agent shortstop market will be insane once again this winter with an All-Star cast of Treat Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson all potentially available.
Several talent evaluators predict that Turner, who’s from Florida, will return East and wind up signing with the Phillies, leaving Correa with the Dodgers or Cubs.
That would be a very tasty addition to an already stacked offensive lineup.
Bryce Harper, who has never been shy about publicly stumping for his bosses to add talent, played with Turner from 2015 to 2018 with the Nationals.
He would certainly be an upgrade at that spot, currently held by Didi Gregorius at a salary of $15.25 million. Behind him, rookie Bryson Stott is still miles away from starting every day at the big-league level.
Turner, who turns 29 years old in two days, leads all shortstops this season in batting average (.313), hits (90), and extra-base hits (29). The final year of his contract with the Dodgers pays him $21 million. His next deal will not be a quantum leap from the deal signed by Gregorius before the 2020 season.
The team could also get out of Jean Segura’s contract with a $1 million buyout – saving $16 million – and slide Stott to second base, where he could be the regular starter, or platoon with a right-handed utility.
He also fills a hole the Phillies have desperately needed for multiple seasons: a bona fide prototypical modern leadoff hitter. A player who can not only change the game with his hitting ability and speed, but provide a good amount of pop from that spot as well.
Putting Turner at the top of the lineup would further fortify the middle of the lineup, making it even more formidable. Think about this possibility:
1. SS Trea Turner
2. 1B Rhys Hoskins
3. RF Bryce Harper
4. DH Nick Castellanos
5. LF Kyle Schwarber
6. C J.T. Realmuto
You would be hard-pressed to find a better lineup one through six.
Plenty can happen between now and this winter, but Phillies fans will be on alert for the next few months if there’s any juice behind this report.