The Philadelphia Phillies made one of the biggest free agency splashes in MLB this offseason when they signed shortstop Trea Turner to a monster 11-year, $300 million contract.
It has taken Phillies fans less than two months to grow increasingly frustrated with him as he struggles through one of the worst slumps of his career, consistently booing him over the past week.
Following the Phillies’ loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, Turner admitted what Phillies fans have been saying about him so far.
“I’m honest with myself, I’ve sucked,” said Turner (via ESPN) following a 1-for-4 night at the plate in a 6-3 loss.
He expanded on that, and how he is trying to remain positive despite the slow start.
“Every at-bat, every play, every game is another day to try to do better and try to be the player that I know I am,” he said. “If you harp on yesterday or you harp on the last at-bat, it’s just going to snowball on you, you’re not going to be able to turn it around. So I’m honest with myself. I tell myself straight, and I don’t lie to myself. I think I’m a positive guy. I think I can always do better and can always be better. That’s the attitude I have, but at the same time, I know when I don’t do something right.”
Turner had been one of the best hitters in baseball prior to signing with the Phillies, winning the National League batting title in 2021, and posting an OPS+ of 117, 162, 145 and 124 over the previous four seasons.
He was expected to be a huge addition to an already strong Phillies lineup that powered the team to the World Series a year ago.
But Turner’s slump, combined with injuries to Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper, has led to a disappointing start.
Entering play on Tuesday, Turner is hitting .256 with a .693 OPS. Not exactly what the Phillies or their fans were hoping for with that contract.
On one hand, Turner has enough of a track record that the Phillies should be optimistic that he will eventually hit his way out of this early-season slump. Players like him do not just suddenly lose their pop.
There is also the reality that Turner is 30 years old and at some point, he is going to start slowing down. There is always a risk that comes with a multiyear deal for a player that age no matter what they did before. The Phillies just have to hope this is a two-month outlier and not a pattern.
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