PHILADELPHIA — When organizations vie for the privilege of paying you life-changing money to play baseball, Tre Turner would say, it’s not as fun as it looks.

Then again, money wasn’t a factor for the 29-year-old two-time All-Star, who ventured into free agency with the intention of signing the final contract of his MLB career. A chance to win a second World Series, a place where he and his wife, Kristen, and their young son, Beckham, could grow their family, a clubhouse where he felt he would fit in and be appreciated were all factors in Turner’s decision to sign with Phyllis last week. Even if he reportedly left money on the table to do so.

​​​​​​​​While non-money chatter was an expected part of Thursday’s induction extravaganza at Citizens Bank Park, Turner’s quiet intensity killed the point.

“We were 100 percent committed to where we were going to sign,” Turner said after donning the pinstriped No. 7 jersey for the first time. “We weren’t going to try to do a short-term deal or try to get more money. We are trying to start a family and be in place for a long time.”

$300 million didn’t hurt, either, on his 11-year contract. If all goes according to plan, the Phillies will be Turner’s last jersey as a major leaguer, signing a contract during his age-41 season. That route includes a core of Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos joining the ring that Turner won as a National in 2019. To that end, the shortstop will look to add to the momentum that propelled the Phillies to a surprise National League pennant in 2022 that lured Turner to Philadelphia.

“Money wasn’t necessarily the No. 1 option for us,” Turner said. “Obviously that plays a part, but we just imagined ourselves here. I imagined myself in this form. She (Kristen) imagined living here and family coming to visit. We envisioned a game with Bryce and Schwarber and a lot of those guys on the team now. It just seemed that a lot had happened.”

In total, if nothing else, more than the $341 million the Padres reportedly offered Turner (a player San Diego drafted 13th overall out of North Carolina State in 2014 but shipped six months later, holding its in abeyance to a mandatory one… the waiting period for trade projects in a year ends.)

The Phillies hope the addition of Turner will put them two more wins away from their World Series goal after losing to Houston in six games last month. He adds a lot – a career .302 batting average, MVP votes in three seasons, plus a glove at a key defensive position. He played in 43 postseason games, batted .298 for the Dodgers last year with 100 RBIs after winning 2021 with a .328 average and ranks fourth among active major leaguers in batting average (.302) and seventh in stolen bases ( 230).

Turner met with Phillies manager Rob Thomson, general manager Sam Fuld and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski at Turner’s home in Florida before Thanksgiving. The three-hour meeting, Fuld said, was about getting to know the person Thomson called “the ultimate son, father, husband guy.” Already pretty close to the Platonic ideal of a modern-day leader, they knew the player they were chasing, identifying Turner as their top target among the crowd of free agent shortstops.

But Turner also did his homework, meeting with several teams. His wife, Kristen (née Harobeian), had an important say and was interested in being closer to her hometown of Flemington, New Jersey. They were looking for a partnership, “looking at it, it’s all in,” he said. Part of Turner’s process was to seek advice from players like Harper, who was in a similar situation four years ago, and test some of the assumptions he (and Harper Kyle’s wife, Kristen Kyle) made about Philly.

“They did a pretty good job of not trying to sway me one way or another,” Turner said. “That was our decision and that was the good aspect of it.”

Philadelphia’s postseason atmosphere helped make the field. Turner said he watched the World Series unfold and saw not only the intensity of the city, but the chemistry in the clubhouse. That it has become a recruiting tool pleases Thomson.

“It’s hard to fake,” Turner said. “You can see the guys in the dugout on TV, obviously you talk to those guys, and (hitting coach) Kevin Long, Schwarber, Bryce, everyone was saying how good the club is. But I think you also see it from a distance playing against them. You can see it on TV. It’s very noticeable and special when it happens.”

“It means a lot to me, and I’m not saying it’s what I did, but just the group of people that we did and how they produced character and unity,” Thomson said. “I’m proud of them for that.”

Dombrowski drew a parallel between Turner and Schwarber despite an early rush to chase down Thomson for the lead. Ahead of the 2022 season, the Phillies made Schwarber a free agent priority not only for his bat, which produced an NL-leading 46 homers, but also for his experience as a World Series winner. Turner is doing the same with a club that has solidified its postseason experience the old-fashioned way.

Neither Dombrowski nor Turner is sure what that contract will look like when the shortstop is 41 years old and still paying $27 million. Dombrowski is counting on Turner’s superior athleticism to mean his skills may not wane like the average ballplayer.

Turner is also confident, but for reasons that have more to do with the mental side.

“I bet on myself all the time,” he said. “That’s why I and my family found ourselves in this situation. I bet on myself every step of the way. I am a competitor. I hate losing, whether it’s a board game or whatever, I hate losing. I’m going to compete as much as I can and at the highest level, and I’m going to push myself every step of the way and work hard to do that.”

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