Trea Turner on Nationals Contract Talks: I'd Love to Play My Entire Career Here

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

Washington Nationals' Trea Turner runs home to score on a single by Asdrubal Cabrera during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

With his free agency not so far on the horizon in 2023, Washington Nationals star Trea Turner signaled a desire to remain in the nation's capital for the long haul.

"I would love to play my entire career here," Turner told reporters Tuesday.

The 27-year-old added that negotiations over an extension "have happened in the past, hopefully will happen in the future."

President of baseball operations Mike Rizzo said in September the two sides held talks during 2020 spring training and called Turner "a guy we want to build around."

The Nationals did not retain Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon when they hit the open market, but the franchise has shown a willingness to pay top dollar under the right circumstances.

Washington has committed $595 million to Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, and Ryan Zimmerman put pen to paper on a six-year, $100 million deal in 2012.

Turner has consistently delivered since becoming an everyday player in 2016. He boasts a career slash line of .296/.353/.480 with 75 home runs and 257 RBI. He's also third behind Billy Hamilton and Mookie Betts in FanGraphs' base running runs above average.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The 2020 season was the best of Turner's career. He finished fifth among position players in WAR (2.7), per FanGraphs, while compiling a .413 weighted on-base average. His .588 slugging percentage was nearly 100 points higher than it was in 2019 (.497).

The Nationals have every reason to keep Turner in 2023 and beyond, but Rizzo might have to make difficult decisions depending on how much ownership will spend. Corbin, Victor Robles and Juan Soto will be eligible for free agency in 2025, and Scherzer is due to hit the open market next offseason.