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November 30, 2022

MLB Free Agency rumors: Phillies are seen as 'the favorites' to sign Trea Turner

The All-Star shortstop is reportedly the Phillies' top priority

Baseball's winter meetings will make their return next week in San Diego after a three-year absence, and a lot of dominoes are expected to fall in terms of major free-agent signings. 

One of them, possibly the first even, could be All-Star shortstop Trea Turner, and right now, the Phillies appear to be the favorites for where he'll land. 

That's at least based on a conversation insider Jon Morosi had with Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds on MLB Network Wednesday morning

On Turner and the Phillies:

Morosi: I think right now the Phillies are viewed as the favorites. There are other teams involved certainly, but the fit for Philadelphia is there. They are in a situation where they just made it to the World Series. They might be one player away from being able to win it all in 2023 and Trea Turner, said by many to have a preference for a team that trains in Florida – of course, is a native Floridian, a very close friend of Bryce Harper's. He began his career in the National League East with the Nationals, won a World Series championship there with the Nats – You see what a dynamic talent he is and he is due to get a long-term deal...

Reynolds: He looks like a Phillie. You know how guys look like certain teams?

Morosi: I would agree. You're right, and I'll say this, he is probably headed for an average annual value in excess of $30 million a year. He is headed to that area from a lot of the projections that are out there and he may still be of interest to the Giants, but I don't think the Giants will sign another position player for $30 million plus a year, unless they know if they're going to get Aaron Judge or not. So I think the Giants are involved in the shortstop market, but it's somewhat contingent on what happens with No. 99, whereas for the Phillies, Trea Turner, according to sources, is their top priority. [MLB Network]

Turner has been linked to the Phillies going back to the middle of the summer and with a rare mix of speed, contact, and a bit of power – not to mention a decent glove in the field – he would be a perfect bat at the top of Rob Thomson's lineup. 

MORE: Ranking the Phillies' biggest offseason needs

Phillies president Dave Dombrowski did acknowledge earlier this month that he would be targeting a middle infielder on the free-agent market, as well as a starting pitcher, and the belief has long been that the Phils would walk away with one of the big names in Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, or Carlos Correra – a belief only reinforced by ESPN's Buster Olney Wednesday morning citing the opinion of a longtime agent

The Phillies were previously reported to be "eager suitors" for Bogaerts, though the market interest for him also seems to be amongst the Diamondbacks, Cubs, and Dodgers, per ESPN's Jeff Passan, and potentially the Padres provided the five-time Silver Slugger be willing to change positions, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal (though he doesn't seem to be). 

In the Phillies' case, any potential shortstop signing would be coming in to play short. Bryson Stott would move over to second base

Elsewhere in the NL East

The Phillies are obviously looking to upgrade but the rest of the NL East isn't standing still either. 

Per New York Post columnist and insider Joel Sherman on Tuesday, the Mets, after choking away the division and bowing out of the Wild Card round, are doing their homework with the intention of adding a No. 2 starter behind Max Scherzer. 

Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodón are names they're looking into along with the idea of bringing back Jacob DeGrom. 

All three are quality starters that could very well be of interest to the Phils, but now there's the possibility of a bidding war with their biggest rival for one of them if plans do end up colliding.

Rodón, according to the Post, has already talked to the Mets over a Zoom call. 

MORE: Ranking the Phillies' free agent targets

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