What does Trea Turner’s contract mean for Dansby Swanson and the Braves?

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After weeks of next to nothing following the conclusion of the World Series, the hot stove is now scorching as we enter December. Jacob deGrom has joined the Rangers; Justin Verlander has taken his place in New York, and now, the first domino of the shortstop market has signed a deal. Unfortunately for Braves fans, he’ll also be joining the NL East, as Trea Turner has decided to sign a deal with the Phillies for $300 million over 11 years.

Considering Trea Turner is one of my favorite players in the game today, seeing him back in the NL East in a uniform that isn’t the Braves stings a bit. But after the numbers on his deal were revealed, the Braves were never going hand Turner an eleven-year contract that runs through his age-40 season. Turner already has problems defensively, and a large part of his value stems from his speed, which is likely to decline as he enters his mid-30s and beyond. I’m still not thrilled that he will be heading to the Phillies, but this was never in the cards for the Braves, and it could be a sign of what’s to come when talking about the contracts the other three premier shortstops on the market will sign this winter.

According to most in the industry, Turner was the second-best shortstop on the market, behind only Carlos Correa. I thought Turner would likely fetch $30 million a year, but I never thought someone was going to hand him an eleven-year contract. Now, it’s almost a guarantee that Correa will fetch at least $300 million this offseason, and it’s likely Bogaerts signs for well over $200 million.

I’m not here to compare Swanson to Trea Turner; Turner has put together a much more impressive resumé over the entirety of their respective careers. But it’s difficult to look at the contract Turner received from the Phillies and not expect Swanson to receive at least half of that over 5-7 years, and it’s possible he could even sniff the $200 million mark. There remains three All-Star caliber free agent options available at the shortstop position, but there are a lot more shortstop needy teams. It’s very possible Swanson has priced himself outside of Atlanta, and at a hypothetical price of $150-200 million, I can’t blame the Braves for moving on.

Photo: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

 

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