Big 4 SS for the Miami Marlins: Trea Turner
By Neil Raymond
This is part of our in a new series about the top four free agent shortstops available in free agency this off-season. Will the Miami Marlins sign any? Most likely not, though Bruce Sherman promised to spend and should. We need to upgrade our historically bad offense and SS is a major area for us to upgrade. Miguel Rojas is a great defender, but is not that good offensively. He’s also not the middle of the order bat that we need. I wrote about Trea Turner before, let’s talk about him…
Is Trea Turner a target for the Miami Marlins?
Turner has the lowest WAR out of the “4 big SS’s”: 4.9, but is arguably the best of the four. He batted .298/.343/.466 with 21 home runs and 100 RBI in 160 games and 652 AB. The native Floridian will be 30 next season. I don’t think I have to explain that he’s a great hitter with elite speed. He would be an ideal lead-off hitter for the Miami Marlins and could also work out of the #2 batting spot as well.
Does Trea Turner have any red flags? Yes, he does. For one thing his game revolves a lot around his elite speed, which typically declines in a player’s 30’s. In fact his stolen base totals have been going down for years now: 46 in 2017, 43 in 2018, 35 in 2019, 32 in 2021 and 27 in 2022. I excluded the shortened 2020 season.
Another problem with Turner is his extensive injury history…a broken wrist that caused him significant time in 2017, fractured fingers in 2019 (that he mostly played through), ANOTHER fractured finger that he played through in 2021. He’s stayed relatively healthy in 2022, but that’s also his contract year and most players do better in these seasons than they normally do.
What kind of contract will Trea Turner get? He has a case for 7 to 8 years at $35 million a year. That’s a very risky contract in my opinion. He gets injured very frequently and while he mostly plays through them, as he gets older and being paid he might not be as inclined to do so. There’s also his declining speed. I’m concerned that after 2-3 years he will become a bad contract.
Should the Miami Marlins sign Trea Turner? I doubt that Bruce Sherman will authorize spending that much in the first place. If he will, I think that there are better more stable options. You may disagree, but consider the possibility of spending a third of our current payroll on a bad contract in a few years.