A Nationals player shows up at Padres camp. Huh?
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Trea Turner has shown up to Padres camp even though he’s been traded to the Nationals.
Confused? So is he. The young shortstop is in one odd situation. A not-so-secret player to be named from an offseason deal who can’t officially be sent east because of an obscure rule.
“I didn’t even know it was possible,” Turner said Tuesday.
Here’s what happened: Turner was the 13th overall pick in last year’s draft after starring at North Carolina State.
Turner was then dealt to Washington in a three-team, 11-player deal in December that sent center fielder Wil Myers from Tampa Bay to San Diego.
The problem is, there’s a rule that says a player selected in the June amateur draft can’t be traded until one year has passed since he signed his initial professional contract, and another rule established a six-month maximum for a player to switch teams after he is included in a trade as a player to be named later.
So the 21-year-old Turner can’t head to Washington until mid-June.
“A lot of people have to make decisions that I don’t really have a say in,” Turner said. “So I’m just going out there to play and help whoever I’m with.”
The good news for Turner is that he’s been invited to the Padres’ big league camp, something he called “a dream come true.” There had been some speculation he wouldn’t be doing anything for anybody until June.
“He’s going to get in baseball shape,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He’s going to take grounders. He’s going to hit. He’s going to do what every other player is here for.”
Except have a future with San Diego.
Turner said he expects to be playing for one of the Padres’ minor-league teams until the trade becomes official in June.
“Trea has put this matter behind him and is focusing on his development and being a productive member of the Padres organization,” Turner’s agent, Jeff Berry, said in a statement released by his agency, CAA.
That stint will end in June, however, when he finally gets to join the Nationals and begin working toward his goal of playing in the big leagues.
Turner expects MLB to eventually change the one-year rule.
“It’s a tough lesson of the business of baseball,” Padres outfielder Will Venable said. “But I’ve talked to him a little bit today, he’s a smart kid. He gets it. But it’s a weird situation knowing he’s not going to be here.”