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June 28, 2022

Report: 'Talent evaluators' predict that Trea Turner will sign with Phillies in offseason

Things are a bit dour in Phillies world given the latest report that Bryce Harper will likely be getting surgery on his fractured left thumb. I don't know if reinforcements will be coming for the Phils before July's trade deadline, but they may be coming this offseason if Phillies owner John Middleton wants to spend some more "stupid money."

A new report from USA Today's Bob Nightengale indicates that some people around baseball are expecting the Phillies to sign reigning National League batting champion Trea Turner to a big contract after the 2022 season.

Here's what Nightengale had to say:

The free-agent shortstop market will be insane once again this winter with an All-Star cast of Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson all potentially available.

Several talent evaluators predict that Turner, who’s from Florida, will return East and wind up signing with the Phillies, leaving Correa with the Dodgers or Cubs. [USA Today/$]

I have a hot take: it would be good if the Phillies signed one of the best shortstops in baseball!

Turner, a Florida native who turns 29 on Thursday, spent the first six-and-a-half years of his career with the Nationals. Four of those years overlapped with Bryce Harper, who is no stranger to egging on ownership to open their checkbooks to sign big-name players. 

Current Phils shortstop Didi Gregorius, who's hitting .262 with a .681 OPS during an injury-plagued 2022 season, will be a free agent this winter. Top infield prospect Bryson Stott has struggled mightily in his rookie season and I can't imagine he'll do enough this season to preclude the Phillies from wanting a player of Turner's caliber. 

Turner, coming off his first All-Star nod in 2021, is hitting .313 with an OPS of .850 for the first-place Dodgers this year. The Phillies have not had a leadoff hitter in the same sphere as Turner since Jimmy Rollins' MVP performance in 2007. 

Nightengale additionally mentioned possible manager searches that will happen after this season and touched upon the Phillies given the interim status of Rob Thomson:

The Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Angels are currently planning to conduct full managerial searches this winter and one name that keeps popping up in internal discussions is future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy.

Bochy, 67, who splits his time between his homes in San Diego and Nashville, Tennessee, says he’s open to another managing job providing it’s the right opportunity and a potential contender.

Bochy, a three-time World Series champion, left the San Francisco Giants after the 2019 season but never ruled returning to the game.

Atlanta bench coach Walt Weiss also is expected to get strong consideration. [USA Today/$]

Bruce Bochy's rings speak for themselves, but I'm not totally sure hiring a 67-year-old guy as the manager is the move for the organization right now. I'm sure a lot of Phillies fans would be on board with keeping Thomson going into 2023 too. 

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