The MLB Hot Stove is boiling over with rumors that free agent shortstop Trea Turner is on the top of the Philadelphia Phillies wishlist and the Phillies are reportedly on the top of his.
It has been rumored for some time that the Phils were infatuated with Turner and would pursue the 29-year old in free agency. There was even chatter from Los Angeles that Turner, a former Washington National, was longing to return to the East Coast. This made connecting the dots and playing fantasy free agency a fun exercise.
But rumors from various sources are just that, rumors. However, in the past 24-48 hours, it’s gone from rumor and innuendo to insider chatter.
I’ve always subscribed to the theory of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and with Turner and the Phillies it’s nearing a damn 3-alarmer.
It all began with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Phillies Talk podcast with Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman. On the pod, which dropped on Monday or Tuesday, Seidman asked the venerable Salisbury if he believed Turner to Philadelphia was a legit possibility.
“Yeah, I do. They need a leadoff man. You can move Stott to second, and then you’ve got one of the most exciting players in baseball. So multi-dimensional and does so many things well. I think he wants to play back on the East Coast. He’d be a phenomenal fit. He’s a tremendous player, as we saw for a long time in Washington. I think he’s the kind of hitter this lineup could really use near the top. It would be a great score for this team. But you still need pitching, so you have to decide where you’re going to spend your resources, you know?”Jim Salisbury on Phillies Talk via NBC SPorts Philadelphia
Salisbury is not one to go out on a limb and make up rumors for the sake of making up rumors. He’s one of the most respected and connected local writers in the game. His hunches are often correct.
But that’s just one opinion. It was Jayson Stark and Jon Paul Mororsi’s comments that raised the eyebrows of many.
Let’s start with Stark, he joined 97.5 The Fanatic/NBC Sports Philadelphia’s idiotically titled The Best Show Every? and dropped the bomb that not only were the Phillies in on Turner but he was in on them.
Here’s the quote that stands out and eveyone has been pointing to:
“You hear a lot of Trea Turner talk. I am all in on signing Trea Turner, and I’ll tell you guys: there’s some interesting rumblings that he wants to be [in Philly]. So I would watch that.”Jayson Stark on Trea Turner to the Phillies
During a spot with MLB Network on Thursday morning, Morosi dropped added that Turner would love to play with Bryce Harper again.
Now we’re just waiting on confirmation from Peter Gammons and Paul Hagen!
This is more exciting than a relatively unknown Japanese outfielder (maybe) being a Bryce Harper fanboy. This is Bryce’s boy! The last time one of Bryce’s boys was up for a contract the Phillies made it happen, #SignJT anyone.
Turner is expected to get in the range of 7-years/$230 million on the market. Free agency starts right about now!
Buckle up for a wild ride, Philadelphia!