Nationals' Trea Turner Open to Contract Extension, Says He Won't 'Settle'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

Washington Nationals' Trea Turner catches a ground ball hit by Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel during the fifth inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Trea Turner has three years remaining before he can hit free agency, but he is willing to consider a contract extension with the Washington Nationals for the right price.

"If the deal's right, if I like it, I'm not scared to take it," Turner said, per Todd Dybas of NBC Sports. "Same thing, if it's not right, I'm not going to settle. Everyone I think knows their worth, [they] at least think they're worth something—whatever that is, high, low, willing to take less or try to get more."

Turner avoided arbitration with a one-year, $7.45 million deal for 2020, but he can agree on a long-term contract that takes him through the remaining arbitration years. It would provide some security with guaranteed money, but it also could limit his earning power if he continues to improve.

"For me, I'm all ears. I'll listen and communicate," Turner said. "At the end of the day, I like it here. I don't think the grass is always greener on the other side, per se, and I'm happy where I'm at. If it comes to that, I'll be happy to play here hopefully my entire career if they'll let me."

Although the Nationals are still plenty satisfied after winning the World Series last October, they could be more motivated to lock down Turner after losing Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon to free agency in the past two offseasons.

Turner has certainly been a difference-maker on the field while hitting .291 across his five seasons with the team, topping 30 stolen bases in each of the last four years. He matched a career high with 19 home runs last season with 35 stolen bases and a .298 batting average despite only playing 122 games.

The 26-year-old has proved to be an elite leadoff hitter while playing quality defense at shortstop.

Outside of Stephen Strasburg, Washington hasn't been known for extending their own players before hitting free agency, but Turner could be another exception based on his willingness to consider a deal.

"I'm also weighing all options. I think everybody should," he said. "If you don't listen, I think it's a little foolish."

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