The San Diego Padres have held two in-person meetings with star free-agent shortstop Trea Turner ahead of the league's winter meetings Sunday, per The Athletic's Dennis Lin and Ken Rosenthal.
San Diego reportedly has "legitimate interest" in Turner, "a player who could command this offseason's second-largest contract."
The Padres already have Fernando Tatis Jr., who is eligible to return from a PED suspension in 2023, and Ha-Seong Kim, who played most of his games at shortstop last season.
It's unclear what Turner's role would be in San Diego, but he is versatile, having seen time at second base and center field at points during his career.
It's also unclear if the Padres will be able to outbid other teams for Turner's services. The former Los Angeles Dodger could command a deal worth $300 million, and the Friars already have some hefty contracts on their payroll.
Tatis is on a 14-year, $340 million deal. Manny Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million contract in 2019. And Yu Darvish is on a six-year, $126 million deal. Joe Musgrove signed a five-year, $100 million extension in August.
Of course, those deals prove that the Padres are willing to spend in order to bring in premier talent, and Turner could prove to be the missing piece to the puzzle after San Diego advanced to the National League Championship Series last season.
The 29-year-old spent the last season-and-a-half in Los Angeles. In 2022, he slashed .298/.343/.466 with 21 home runs, 100 RBI and 27 stolen bases en route to the first Silver Slugger award of his career.
Turner was drafted by the Padres in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft, though the franchise traded him to the Washington Nationals, where he spent the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career.
In addition to Turner, the Padres have shown interest in former Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, per Lin and Rosenthal, who noted he could land a deal worth more than $200 million. However, the report added that Turner "appears to be the Padres' preference."