Trea Turner’s value as a baseball player has never been higher than it is right now. The Nationals’ shortstop maintained last year that he wants to sign a long-term deal with the club that developed him. Even after a 2020 season that saw him lead the majors in hits, Turner is still hopeful that an extension is in his future.
“I would love to play here my entire career,” Turner said on a Zoom call Tuesday. “I’ve said it in the past, I’ve always liked it here and don’t think the grass is greener on the other side necessarily but it’s a business and things change. But as of right now, I would love to play here for my entire career…Those talks have happened in the past and hopefully they’ll happen in the future but as of right now we’re taking it day by day I guess.”
Turner, 27, has two years left on his rookie deal with the Nationals before hitting free agency. Over the past five seasons, the shortstop has established himself as one of MLB’s premiere stolen-base threats while showing flashes of power that finally translated into big results last season when he posted a career-high .588 slugging percentage.
Washington has approached Turner about an extension before, to which Turner said he would consider signing “if the deal’s right.” After his stellar 2020 campaign, that price tag has likely grown. The Nationals do have some money coming off the books next season once starter Max Scherzer’s deal expires — although they still owe him deferred payments through 2028 — but Turner isn’t the only candidate for an extension.
Nationals young phenom Juan Soto is just three years into his MLB career yet has already established himself as one of the league’s best all-around hitters. If the Nationals were to find a way to keep both Turner and Soto around long-term, the former would be in favor of it.
“We’re always joking together, I think we have a great relationship and I think it goes without saying that we’d love to play with each other for a long time,” Turner said. “I would love to play my entire career here. I would love for him to play his entire career here. But we’ll see. Those are big, big questions and you kinda gotta take it day by day and if it happens that’d be special.”