Trea Turner says there's been nothing new in contract extension talks with Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers' Trea Turner bats during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Texas Rangers Thursday, March 31, 2022, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Three days before the start of the Dodgers' season, shortstop Trea Turner said Tuesday there’s been nothing new in talks with the team about a potential contract extension.

The 28-year-old, who was acquired by the Dodgers along with Max Scherzer at the trade deadline last year, will be a free agent after the season and said at the start of spring he’d be open to staying in Los Angeles long term.

However, he said Tuesday that there has been no formal offer for a new long-term deal.

“It’s like I talked about before, [I’m open to] having talks if they want to have them and if not, let’s go play baseball,” Turner said. “So no talks, no nothing. We’re ready to go play.”

If Turner — who avoided arbitration this season by settling with the Dodgers on a one-year, $21-million deal last month — reaches free agency after the season, he could be one of the most coveted players on the market.

Last year, he won the National League batting title with a .328 average overall between his time with the Dodgers and Washington Nationals. He also ranked first among position players in Fangraphs’ version of wins above replacement, finished fifth in voting for the NL’s most valuable player award and set career highs in home runs (28) and RBIs (77).

Over his seven-year career, Turner has batted .303 and led the majors in hits twice. He is also one of the sport’s fastest players, with 203 career steals.

Turner is excited about moving back to shortstop this year, as well, after he slid to second base following last season’s trade to the Dodgers, who still had Corey Seager at the position.

“I love it,” Turner said. “Second base, I think I said it numerous times, it just felt so weird, out of place. But it was what was asked of me, so I tried to do the best I could. I’m really excited to go back [to shortstop]. I already feel like I’ve made even some progress this spring, some things I want to implement in the game and be more consistent.”

The going rate for premier shortstops has skyrocketed over the last year following Seager’s 10-year, $325-million signing with the Texas Rangers this offseason and Francisco Lindor’s 10-year, $341-million deal with the New York Mets at the start of last season.

Next year’s class of free-agent shortstops looks likely to be topped by Turner and potentially Carlos Correa (if he opts out of his new contract with the Minnesota Twins). The Dodgers don’t have an obvious successor at shortstop if Turner leaves, either, though Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor are both capable of playing the position.

For now, though, Turner said he’s focused on the upcoming season, which will be his first full campaign with the Dodgers — and possibly his last.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.