The Phillies have shortstop Trea Turner as their top priority, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. This lines up with reporting from Buster Olney and Jesse Rogers, both of ESPN, who each relay word from sources that assert the Phillies will sign one of the “Big Four” shortstops, which includes Turner as well as Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson.
The Phillies have been looking for a solution at shortstop for a few years now. They signed Didi Gregorius going into 2020, giving him a one-year deal. He performed well enough in the shortened season to stick around on a two-year deal, but that went south almost immediately. After he hit just .209/.270/.370 in 2021, there was some speculation that the Phillies would jump into last year’s big shortstop sweepstakes, featuring Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien.
They ultimately stayed on the sidelines, giving Gregorius a chance to redeem himself in the last year of his deal. That didn’t work out, as he hit .210/.263/.304 this year and got released in August. They had to turn to their backup plan, which was prospect Bryson Stott. He had struggled over the first couple of months, hardly surprising given that it was his first major league action, getting optioned to the minors in April but returning after just a couple of weeks.
At the end of May, Stott was sitting on a miserable .123/.179/.151 batting line for a wRC+ of -8. Something seemed to click in June, as he hit .257/.318/.401 for a wRC+ of 102 from that point on, bringing his final line up to .234/.295/.358 and a wRC+ of 83. His glovework at short was considered below average by Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average, while Ultimate Zone Rating had him just a smidge above. That’s hardly a disastrous season for a rookie, but the Phils evidently didn’t see enough to consider Stott their long-term solution at the position and seem to be involved in the shortstop market for a second straight year. The club declined Jean Segura’s option, creating an opening at second base that Stott could theoretically fill. Both DRS and OAA liked his glovework better on that side of the bag, making it a sensible approach for the club.
While any of the four shortstops would be logical for this plan, Turner would certainly be an exciting fit. In his time in the big leagues so far, he’s proven himself to be one of the best all-around players in the game, succeeding in just about every aspect. In 849 career…