Trea Turner and Aaron Judge were among those richly rewarded with new contracts at this year’s winter meetings. We mention them specifically not just because of the size of their contracts, but because they’re currently adjacent to each other on a prominent statistical list.
Here’s the MLB Total Runs leaderboard since the start of the 2020 season.
Total Runs is the sum of a player’s Runs Created, Baserunning Runs, Pitching Runs Created, and Defensive Runs Saved, with an adjustment for position played.
Among the many things that stand out on this list, let’s spotlight two of them.
One is Turner being in the No. 2 spot, which shows his value, his completeness as a player, and his durability (Judge would almost surely be No. 2 if he didn’t miss time in 2020). Since 2020, Turner has hit .316 with an .877 OPS and averaged 27 home runs and 31 stolen bases per 162 games. He’s also played in nearly 96% of his team’s games.
Turner’s 71 steals rank tied for second in MLB in that time. His .877 OPS ranks 11th among those with at least 1,000 plate appearances, 26 points and 10 spots better than the closest middle infielder (Xander Bogaerts, .851). Even with his OPS dropping 102 points from 2021 to 2022, Turner was still highly productive. He ranked tied for 7th in the NL in Runs Created last season.
The second point is a more holistic view of the list from a contractual perspective.
If we kept going through the leaderboard, we’d next bump into Paul Goldschmidt, who is signed for the next two seasons, but after that comes Dansby Swanson (free agent with long-term deal looming), Mookie Betts (signed through 2032), Manny Machado (signed through 2028 but does have an opt-out after 2023), and Xander Bogaerts (who agreed to a deal through 2033 while we were writing this piece).
With Turner and Judge having agreed to deals, all but one player in that top six is signed with his current team for the (very) long term. The trend in baseball these days is to lock in the game’s most productive players, and hang on to them for as long as you possibly can.
Oh, and Shohei Ohtani is headed for a very, very nice contract next offseason.