Since the Friars were recently connected to the shortstop market generally and Xander Bogaerts specifically, it’s not shocking that they would have some degree of interest in Turner as well. However, despite the “Big Four” shortstops often being lumped together, there’s a difference between them. MLBTR predicted Turner and Carlos Correa to earn $32MM per season or higher while Bogaerts is projected at an average annual value of $27MM and Dansby Swanson at $22MM.
Those might seem like small differences but they are magnified for a Padres team that paid the competitive balance tax in each of the past two years. The CBT system features escalating penalties for repeat payors, with a third consecutive year over the line resulting in a 50% tax for every dollar over. The Padres currently have a CBT number of $230MM, according to Roster Resource, just $3MM shy of this year’s lowest luxury tax threshold of $233MM. The second threshold is $253MM, something that the Padres would certainly go over if they add one of the top shortstops, at which point their spending would be subject to a 62% tax.
Since the Padres are also looking to upgrade their rotation, it’s always seemed hard to picture them laying out a huge contract for a shortstop and paying such a tax premium to do so. There’s also the on-field fit, which isn’t super smooth since they have Ha-Seong Kim and Fernando Tatis Jr. as shortstop options. It’s been suggested they could add a shortstop and play Kim at second, Jake Cronenworth at first base and Tatis in the outfield, but it’s probably easier to just sign a first baseman or a left fielder.
Elsewhere in Padres news, Rosenthal reports in a separate column that the club is likely to re-sign reliever Craig Stammen. The veteran, who turns 39 in March, recently spoke about his desire to return in 2023 despite dealing with a shoulder injury in the second half of the season. He’s been in San Diego for six seasons now and it seems like there’s interest on both sides in making it seven.