This past offseason during A.J. Preller’s mass exodus of top San Diego Padres‘ prospects they traded their first round and 13th overall selection, Trea Turner. Turner made a strong impressing in his first couple months in the Padre organization, where he hit .323/.406/.448 in 69 games. He was then shipped off to the Washington Nationals in a three trade for Wil Myers and Ryan Hanigan. Turner has been just as impressive in 2015 hitting .316/.368/.463 in 95 games and ascending to AAA at 22 years old and in just his first full year of professional baseball. It appears the Padres may have made a huge mistake in letting Turner go, but Preller has seen the errors of his ways and is attempting to get the prized shortstop back according to CBS Sports‘ Jon Heyman.
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Getting Turner back will be no small task though. He’s only raised his value since being traded and his value as the 13th overall pick was already very high. Not only is his value high, but the Nationals may need Turner as soon as 2016. Ian Desmond has had a rough season and will become a free agent at the end of the year. If Desmond continues to struggle the Nationals might be better off letting him walk and that’s where Turner comes in. Trading away Turner takes away the insurance policy for Desmond leaving. They’ll still have Wilmer Difo, but Turner is the better prospect so they’d much rather have Turner there.
The price the Padres will have to pay would be closer Craig Kimbrel. The Nationals have been in the market for a closer and have talked to the Reds about Aroldis Chapman and the Philles about Jonathon Papelbon have now set their sights on Kimbrel. Despite having a long and expensive contract, which is usually a deterrent to a trade, Kimbrel’s contract adds some value. He’s a long term fixture and would give the Nationals one of the best 8-9 combos in baseball with Kimbrel and Drew Storen. The Nationals bullpen as a whole has been decent, but they do have 12 blown saves, the 11th most in the league. Kimbrel would take a lot of pressure off the rest of the bullpen and make them very scary going into the stretch drive.
That being said Trea Turner could be the everyday shortstop for the Nationals for at least the next six years, that’s more important than adding a closer to an already solid bullpen. If the Nationals do value Turner highly, there’s no way they give him up for just about anything short of Mike Trout. I highly doubt this deal happens, but I guess credit Preller for trying.
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