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Report: Trea Turner, Dodgers Agree to $21M Contract Ahead of Arbitration Deadline

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMarch 23, 2022

Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers and star shortstop Trea Turner agreed to a $21 million contract in his final year of arbitration, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

This will add to what was already MLB's biggest payroll for 2022, a figure that stands at $270.2 million. That commitment could climb even higher with Julio Urias and Caleb Ferguson yet to commit to a contract before entering into arbitration.

After losing to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series, the Dodgers responded by poaching one of Atlanta's best players and signing Freddie Freeman to a six-year, $162 million contract.

Los Angeles also bolstered its pitching staff by adding Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson to the rotation and effectively replacing Kenley Jansen with Daniel Hudson.

Especially on offense, manager Dave Roberts has an embarrassment of riches.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

In nearly 20 years covering baseball, not sure I’ve seen a better lineup than the one the Dodgers will use this season. In some order, it’s going to be Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and A.J. Pollock.

Turner will likely help to set the tone near the top of the order.

The 28-year-old had the best season of his career in 2021. He claimed a batting title (.328), hit 28 home runs, slugged .536 and stole a National League-best 32 bases. His 6.9 WAR was the most among position players on FanGraphs, and he finished fifth in the NL MVP voting.

Turner's presence allowed the Dodgers to let Corey Seager walk as a free agent, as Seager collected a massive 10-year, $325 million contract from the Texas Rangers.

That kind of succession plan won't be a luxury Los Angeles gets to enjoy next winter when Turner hits the open market.

Seager, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa have set the market for an elite shortstop at $30-plus million annually.

Turner will turn 29 in June, so getting a 10-year pact to match Seager and Lindor might be tricky. But another season like the one he enjoyed in 2021 might help him collect a bigger payout on average.

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