Trea Turner’s agent is unhappy his client is in limbo after trade to Nationals

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As part of this week’s three-team Wil Myers trade, the Nationals acquired right-hander Joe Ross and a player to be named later. However, the player to be named later isn’t a mystery. It’s shortstop prospect Trea Turner, who is now in limbo after the trade.

You see, Turner was a first-round pick of the Padres in this June’s First-Year Player Draft. And per MLB rules, he can’t be traded until one year after signing his first contract. That means that he will begin the 2015 season with the Padres, even though everybody knows that he is going to the Nationals. And that’s pretty awkward for everyone involved.

Turner’s agent, Jeff Barry, told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that the situation is “unconscionable” and that he “will vigorously pursue all available courses of action to remedy this situation.” He even brought up the possibility of filing a grievance through the MLBPA.

“Regardless of the sham press releases being put out by teams, there is no Player to be Named, there is only the player already named, and that player is Trea Turner,” Berry said.

“Trea is one of the top prospects in baseball and on a fast track to the major leagues,” Berry said. “In this case, the plan to ‘trust us’ is not enough when it comes to a player’s well-being and career.

“Given the circumstances and the undoubtedly negative impact on Trea Turner, for the teams involved and Major League Baseball to endorse and approve this trade is not only unethical, but also goes against the very spirit of the Minor League Uniform Player Contract that players sign when they first enter professional baseball. That contract requires a player to ‘serve the club diligently and faithfully.’ Shouldn’t the clubs and the controlling parties at Major League Baseball be held to the same standard?”

As Rosenthal notes, Turner has a minor league contract, so his plight might not be on the MLBPA’s radar.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo can’t discuss Turner directly, which shows how silly this situation is, but he told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com yesterday that he trusts the that Padres will handle the unspecified player (who is obviously Turner) with care before he comes over to his new team.

“It’s a unique situation that hasn’t been done before,” Rizzo said. “I’ve never done it before, and I’ve been doing this thing for a long time. We’re going to trust each other and do what’s right by the player. We’ll monitor that player quite closely. We trust that the Padres will do right by him and do the right thing.”

Rizzo wouldn’t address whether there’s an agreed-upon contingency plan in the event something happens to Turner before June but confirmed there are other players the Nationals ultimately could select.

“We’ve got a list that we’ll chose the player from,” Rizzo said. “Let’s leave it at that.”

The rule keeping Turner on the Nationals is essentially aimed at preventing teams from trading their draft picks. We have seen situations similar to this with “players to be named later” before, but it usually comes up around the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. However, those players don’t end up spending long stretches of time with their old team before coming to their new one. I’m not sure what the answer is for Turner and future situations like this, but it definitely feels silly.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.