Trea Turner continues to show he is completely comfortable being front and center with the Los Angeles Dodgers almost a full year since he last played for the Washington Nationals.
Turner and Max Scherzer came to the Dodgers from the Nationals at the trade deadline last season. Though the presence of the two stars was supposed to help Los Angeles to a championship, the club fell to the eventual champion Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.
This season, the Dodgers again look like a World Series contender and will take the National League’s best record into the second game of a three-game home series against Washington on Tuesday.
Back at shortstop this season, after playing at second base upon his arrival with the Dodgers, Turner has thrived. He is in his final arbitration-eligible season and will command top dollar as a free agent this winter.
The uncertain status has not taken a toll on Turner’s production. His two hits Monday boosted his most current hitting streak to 12 games. He has two streaks of at least 20 games already this season and has a hit in 81 of his 95 games in 2022.
Yet Turner’s outside distractions are nowhere near what former teammate Juan Soto is dealing with. The Home Run Derby champion last week during All-Star Game festivities at Dodger Stadium, Soto was back again with the Nationals and delivered a two-run triple in the fifth inning.
It came as trade rumors swirl about where Soto could land. One possible destination is in Los Angeles, where he would be teammates with Turner again.
“I’m pretty sure that if (president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman) can acquire him for the right price, he will do it in a heartbeat, which is a cool part about playing here,” Turner said of Soto on Tuesday, per the Los Angeles Times. “If those people are available, they’ll be here.”
In advance of the Nationals’ 4-1 victory Monday to end the Dodgers’ season-long eight-game winning streak, Soto pondered the balance needed to perform while not worrying that a life change could be forthcoming.
“I never think about (being traded to the Dodgers) because I never see myself in any of that,” Soto said, per the Orange County Register. “I’ve always been loyal to the Nationals, I’ve always been there for them. … I just keep in touch with the Nationals because that’s what I am right now. That’s what I’m going to be: loyal until they don’t want me anymore here.”
With all eyes on Turner with the Dodgers and Soto with the Nationals, it will be Los Angeles right-hander Mitch White (1-2, 3.78 ERA) facing Washington right-hander Josiah Gray (7-6, 4.40) on the mound in Tuesday’s game. Gray, along with catcher Keibert Ruiz, were two of the pieces the Nationals received from the Dodgers in the Turner-Scherzer trade.
While White has never faced the Nationals, Gray started against the Dodgers at home on May 24 and was crushed, giving up seven runs on five hits over three innings while taking the loss.
–Field Level Media