MLB rumors: Even more Trea Turner-Phillies buzz at GM meetings

Here's even more Turner-to-Phillies buzz at GM meetings originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

There's nothing like the MLB Hot Stove, and right now the stove is piping hot around a big name and the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies have long been linked to a potential pursuit of Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner this offseason. They need to get younger at the position (Jean Segura, whose option for 2023 the club declined, turns 33 before next season begins), they need a leadoff hitter (Turner is a career .302 hitter and has twice led baseball in stolen bases), and Turner is friendly with multiple players on the Phillies' roster in ex-teammates Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber.

So it wasn't a surprise, but it certainly was encouraging, when veteran baseball scribe Jayson Stark reported Wednesday on The Best Show Ever? that Turner-to-Philly chatter was buzzing around the league:

"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."

You love to hear it!

Then on Thursday, MLB insider Jon Morosi echoed those sentiments in even stronger terms:

"First off, the Phillies. For a variety of reasons a lot of people here at the meetings believe the Phillies are perhaps the most likely landing spot of all for Trea Turner. Let's begin with his close friendship with Bryce Harper, going back to their time with the Nationals. That is one element here, where Trea would love to play with Bryce again."

The stove is officially hot, folks. You might even call it smoking hot.

And this all comes on the heels of NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury telling NBCSP's Corey Seidman on the Phillies Talk podcast earlier this week he believes Turner is a legit possibility for the Phils:

"SEIDMAN: Do you think [Trea Turner] is a legit possibility for the Phillies?

"SALISBURY: 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 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?"

Let's make it happen.

Turner is indeed the perfect fit for this team. The only thing that could get in the way of him in red pinstripes next year that Phillies fans would find acceptable is some team coming in and making a bonkers, mad mad money offer that is way over anything you could expect and the front office deeming it too insane to match. Then you hope they go after one of Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, or Dansby Swanson.

But again: Turner is a career .302 hitter. He was an All-Star last year despite posting his weakest slashes - .298/.343/.466 - since 2019. He hit 21 homers, drove in 100 runs, stole 27 bases, and finished 13th in MLB in defensive runs saved among all shortstops, one spot behind Correa and two spots behind Bogaerts.

He is a perfect player for the 2023 Phillies, and would go a long way to having them right back in playoff contention next season. They still need to find money for pitching help, even if Andrew Painter is able to enter the rotation next season, so they can't go into the stratosphere on a Turner deal. But John Middleton said he'd spend stupid money when the opportunity presented itself, and I'd say the season after being two wins away from a World Series title is certainly opportunity presenting itself.

We'll see what happens.

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