Numbers to consider around Trea Turner: He entered Sunday with a 1.053 OPS. He is 27 years old. He has two arbitration years remaining before he can become a free agent.
The Nationals are aware of Turner blooming into the player they expected. They also know his ticking clock will lead to a large contract soon.
“He’s got a bright future,” Mike Rizzo said Sunday. “I know that much. Going to make a lot of money.”
According to Rizzo, the Nationals started talking to Turner about a contract extension back in the first iteration of spring training. The organization has four enormous financial decisions coming in the next five years: First will be what to do with Max Scherzer after his contract expires at the end of the 2021 season. Turner will be next. Juan Soto and Victor Robles, who can become free agents together in 2025, follow.
The group is tethered together. Each decision influences the ability and angles for the next. What is a 37-year-old Scherzer worth to the organization? How long do they want to pay Turner, who will be 29 years old, like Anthony Rendon was, when he can enter free agency? Will they try to pay both Soto and Robles? If not, which one? Robles for less money? Or Soto, a superstar in the making, for a huge sum?
For his part, Turner is willing to listen. He told NBC Sports Washington in January it would be counterproductive not to.
“For me, I’m gray on a lot of areas,” Turner said then. “If the deal’s right, if I like it, I’m not scared to take it. Same thing, if it’s not right, I’m not going to settle. Everyone I think knows their worth, [they] at least think they’re worth something -- whatever that is, high, low, willing to take less or try to get more.
“For me, I’m all ears. I’ll listen and communicate. At the end of the day, I like it here. I don’t think the grass is always greener on the other side, per se, and I’m happy where I’m at. If it comes to that, I’ll be happy to play here hopefully my entire career if they’ll let me. But, I’m also weighing all options. I think everybody should. If you don’t listen, I think it’s a little foolish.”
Rizzo said Sunday that Turner is “a guy we want to build around” and hope to have a long time. For that to happen, they will have to find a large amount of money and the will to give it to him.