About a week ago, the Philadelphia Phillies were considered by some insiders to be the top landing spot for Xander Bogaerts.
On Monday, they signed Trea Turner to an 11-year deal worth $300M.
For the moment, Boston Red Sox fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
Red Sox get second chance with Xander Bogaerts as Phillies sign Trea Turner
Bogaerts and the Phillies seemed like a natural fit for several reasons. He’s a team leader and role model for young players, has ample postseason experience, and had hit well at Citizens Bank Park, albeit over the small sample size of 13 career games. But in particular, it was his relationship with Dave Dombrowski that gave the Phillies a clear advantage. Dombrowski was the one who gave Bogaerts his extension in 2019, and the uber-successful executive has a history of spending big on talent and bringing star players with him from team to team either via trade or free agency. JD Martinez and Rick Porcello – who coincidentally announced his retirement on Monday – are two of the many players who suited up for more than one of Dombrowski’s teams.
Phillies owner John Middleton has given Dombrowski carte blanche to spend to win, as evidenced by them exceeding the luxury tax threshold for the first time ever in 2022. They gave sizable contracts to Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, and will now add Trea Turner to an already-formidable lineup that also includes Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, and Rhys Hoskins.
Turner is the ninth player in MLB history to receive a contract of $300M or more, and the second of the group to be paid by the Phillies, who gave Harper the biggest contract in league history at the time in March 2019. They’re definitely not done spending, either, as they have to replace Zach Eflin and Kyle Gibson, who both became free agents and signed with American League East teams (Rays, Orioles).
The Phillies were underdogs when they clinched their first-ever Wild Card berth this year, but made it past the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and San Diego Padres to win the National League pennant and reach the World Series for the first time since 2009. They put up a good fight against the Houston Astros but lost the series in six games. Adding Turner, an offensive and defensive juggernaut, is a sign that they’re hungry for another shot.
For the Sox, the Phillies coming off the Bogaerts board is a gift from the baseball gods. Boston must be even more focused and determined to bring their unofficial captain home. This is a second chance they’re very lucky to get; they cannot waste it.