December 6: The Padres’ offer to Turner was not only higher than the offer he accepted from Philadelphia, but would have made Turner the highest-paid infielder in baseball, surpassing Francois LindorThe $341 million deal with the Mets, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. The exact duration of the contract, potential deferrals, etc. aren’t known at this time, but it’s a nonetheless shocking follow-up reveal in the wake of the Phillies’ deal with Turner. Lindor’s contract is currently the third-biggest guarantee in Major League history.
While Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported following the Padres’ failed bid that the team was no longer pursuing shortstops, Olney writes that the Padres have at least been in contact with Bogaerts. , echoing a similar sentiment reported last night. by Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic.
More broadly, Olney reports that the Padres are “very serious about trying to do everything they can” to win the franchise’s first World Series, raising questions about whether San Diego could emerge as a legitimate participant in the tender for Judge Aaron, Carlos Rodon and other top remaining free agents.
December 5: The Phillies made the biggest hit of the offseason so far, agreeing to the terms of an 11-year contract with Trea Turner this afternoon. When finalized, it will make the two-time All-Star the 10th player in MLB history to land a contract worth at least $300 million.
As massive as the contract was, it apparently wasn’t the highest offer the shortstop had on the table. The Athletic’s Matt Gelb reports that the Padres have made an offer that exceeds the one Turner accepted from Philadelphia. The details of the proposal are unclear, but Gelb adds that the gap was wide enough. San Diego’s offer would have resulted in more money even after adjusting for California’s higher income tax rate than Pennsylvania’s.
In the months leading up to Turner’s free agency, there was quite a bit of speculation as to whether geography would play a role in his decision. He is a Florida native who went to North Carolina State University. His wife Kristen is from New Jersey. Turner reportedly expressed a desire to stay on the East Coast when the Nationals traded him to the Dodgers at the 2021 deadline, and while he downplayed geographic preferences in free agency, there appears to have been some truth. behind the rumblings that he might prefer to go back across the country. Turner also joins his longtime teammate in Washington Bryce Harper and hitting coach Kevin Loof Philadelphia.
On the one hand, losing a star player even after making the highest bid must be a blow to San Diego. Yet it also illustrates the potential for the franchise to continue to push chips as it aggressively seeks to grow one of the most talented rosters in the game. You could argue the shortstop is more of a luxury buy. for the Brothers anyway, with Fernando Tatis Jr., Ha Seong Kim and Jake Cronenworth all at your fingertips as intermediate options in the field. Still, San Diego was willing to offer one of the biggest contracts in league history to try to add another star to the roster.
San Diego has also been linked to Xander Bogaerts this offseason. Just because they were the highest bidder on Turner doesn’t inherently mean they’ll be leading the market for Bogaerts instead, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they pivoted in that direction now that their primary target is out. of the whiteboard. The Padres have passed the luxury tax threshold in each of the past two seasons, and they would have to do so again to add one of the star free agent shortstops. Roster Resource estimates their CBT registry to be about $3 million below the basic tax threshold of $233 million, and signing Turner for an average annual value of about $27.3 million he received would have pushed them. at the second level of penalty. It would have involved a 50% tax on the first $20 million — an additional $10 million — and other taxes from then on, but it was apparently a bill owner that Peter Seidler was content to settle for. pay for another star. How or if they reallocate that money, either in pursuit of Bogaerts or in more direct areas of need like first base and the outside corner, remains to be seen.
As for the Phils, they now plan to move into the pitching market after adding to an already loaded core of positional players. Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweet the middle of the rotation and the back of the bullpen are target areas for the Phils, who are now not far from the base level of luxury taxation themselves. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters tonight that the club was looking for a setup-type reliever who could mix and match with Seranthony Dominguez, Connor Brodon and Jose Alvarado at the end of the games (via Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia plaintiff).
While the Phillies certainly aren’t giving up, Dombrowski played down the possibility of adding another player who had rejected a qualifying offer. The Phils lost their second- and fifth-highest picks in next year’s entry draft, plus $1 million in international signing bonus space for Turner, who had turned down a QO with the Dodgers. They would lose their third and sixth picks to sign another qualified free agent, and Dombrowski told Coffey and others the team didn’t have “much appetite” for that kind of pick forfeiture.
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