Trea Turner is a Phillie. And he is going to stay one for a while. He and the Phillies agreed to an 11-year contract worth $300 million. But just how excited should we be about this news? Did the Phillies sign a bad contract, or was Turner a steal for them? What does the Phillies’ new shortstop bring to the table? Here are 5 numbers that show just how good of a signing this really is for them.
Trea Turner is going to be paid $27,272,727 per year as a Phillie. We don’t know the full details yet, and some years he could make more than others depending on if it is front-loaded or back-loaded. But across the 11 years, that is the average his contract will pay out. Out of context, that feels like a lot. But in context, it is actually a bargain. To start it is just the 17th highest per year value. And that is before Aaron Judge, Carlos Rodon, and several other big-name free agents get paid. There is a chance by the end of Free Agency his AAV is not even top 20 in the MLB. Similar to the Bryce Harper deal, they got Turner to sacrifice per-year value, for extra years. And yea, perhaps in 10 years when they are paying $50 million combined to a 40-year-old Harper and Turner, it might not look great. But 10 years from now, both of their contracts may very well be outside the top 50 for players, and $27 million may be the going rate for an average player.
To put his contract in further context, here are two numbers.
That is what they paid for their starting midfielders at the start of the season each year. Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius were actually more expensive than Trea Turner and Bryson Stott will be this year. They will save $1,777,273 in the middle infield. Now Bryson Stott being pre-arbitration is carrying a lot of the weight there. But that is part of the upside of having a good young player like him. Jean and Didi are off the books. And that pays for Trea Turner on its own. Bryson Stott still has several years before he becomes a free agent. The deal still leaves them with plenty of space to round out the rotation and the bullpen after bolstering the starting lineup and infield defense with Trea Turner.
Bolts is an interesting MLB stat. What it measures is the number of times a player reaches a sprint speed of over 30ft per second. 30 ft per second is very fast. Only 11 players averaged a sprint speed of 30ft/sec or more on the basepaths, and Trea Turner was one of them. Trea Turner was 5th in average sprint speed at 30.3. But he was 1st in Bolts at 131. Only one other player, Bobby Witt Jr was in triple digits. What that tells us is no other player in the MLB takes advantage of their elite speed better than Trea Turner. There are a few players with better pure speed than him. But they do not put the ball in play enough to take advantage of their speed the way Turner does. Turner is not just fast, he is an elite hitter too.
So just how good of a hitter is Trea Turner? Only 2 players have finished in the top five of hits in each of the last 3 seasons. Freddie Freeman is one of them. The other is Trea Turner. He finished 2nd last season and 1st in 2021 and 2022. He had an OPS over .800 in each of those seasons as well. And in 3 of his 8 seasons, he had a batting average over .300. And last year he just missed that mark by hitting .298. This all goes to show again that he is more than just fast. He can put the bat on the ball. And if you don’t believe me, ask Charlie Manuel.
FWIW Trea Turner has one of the nicest, tension free swings in the game.— Charlie Manuel (@CMBaseball41) December 5, 2022
But that is not the only thing Trea Turner is one of the only players to do. Because along with Jose Ramierez, he is one of just two players to achieve a 20-20 season in each of the past 2 years. Only 8 players accomplished that feat in 2022 and only 10 in 2021. 2020 saw its season shortened by Covid, so no players accomplished a 20-20 season. But that may have been Turner’s best power year anyway. He hit 12 home runs, with 12 steals, in just 59 games. In a full season, that would have put him on pace for 32 home runs and 32 steals. And in 2019 he had a pace to surpass 20 home runs as well, but a finger injury kept him out for 40 games. But he still reached 19 home runs and 35 steals. So you could say he has 4 straight seasons with a 20-20 pace. And they only have to pay him the 17 most money of any player in the MLB.