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Washington Nationals’ Mike Rizzo & Davey Martinez want to sign Trea Turner to long-term deal...

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Mike Rizzo talked this past weekend about talks with Trea Turner about an extension this Spring, and Davey Martinez said on Tuesday he’s the right sort of player for that kind of deal...

Tampa Bay Rays v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Shortly after he signed his own long-term extension this past weekend, Nationals’ GM and President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo discussed wanting to sign both Washington’s skipper Davey Martinez, and Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner to their own long-term deals.

Martinez, Rizzo said, was priority one after inking his own deal. The third-year skipper, who led the Nationals to the first World Series title by a D.C.-based team since 1924 in 2019, has an option for the 2021 campaign ($1.2M club option) included in the 3-year/$2.8M contract he signed in October of 2017, but Rizzo said he wanted to skip picking that up and just go bigger.

“My plan is, and my preference is, to not pick up the option and go well beyond that and that’s the plan going forward,” Rizzo explained, “... see if we can get something done and negotiate a longer-term deal with him that goes beyond just picking up the option.”

As for Turner, 27, who put up a .298/.353/.497 line with 37 doubles, five triples, 19 homers, and 35 stolen bases over 122 games and 569 plate appearances in a 3.5 fWAR campaign a year ago, and entered Tuesday’s game at .362/.413/.626 with 10 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and five steals in 40 games and 179 PAs this year, over which he was worth 2.0 fWAR?

“He’s got a bright future I know that much, he’s going to make a lot of money. He’s a great player,” Rizzo said, of the shortstop he acquired as part of a three-team deal with the Rays and Padres in 2015.

“He’s everything that our scouts said he was not only in the amateur draft, but when we made the trade for him, and again, he’s one of the guys — the type of ability players and makeup guys that you build franchises around. So we’ve had some discussions in Spring Training 1.0 this year, and hope to figure out what the landscape looks like moving forward, but suffice it to say, he’s a guy that we want to build around and would love to have him here for a long time.”

Martinez, who has praised Turner’s growth as player and team leader from the start this year, shares his boss’s admiration for the 2014 1st Round pick (by the San Diego Padres), who avoided arbitration with the Nationals this winter when he signed a one-year/$7.45M deal, told reporters in a Zoom call before the second of two with Tampa Bay on Tuesday, that Turner is the type of player and person you’d like to lock up long-term.

“Absolutely,” Martinez said.

“For me, he’s the guy that makes us go and I’ve said that time and time again. But what I’ve noticed this year, he’s actually been very vocal, been more of a leader.

“And that’s a piece that over the years, that he struggled with, and now he seems like he’s got a grasp of it.

“He’s a guy. You want to build an organization, a team around that guy. That guys does everything really well.

“He hits, he hits for average, he hits for power, he plays really good shortstop and he runs the bases the way he’s supposed to run them. To me, he’s the total package. And to keep him here for many, many years, would be a good thing for the organization.”

A reporter noted that Turner has not only been a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, but also with the media, talking frequently on post game Zoom calls and acting as one of the voices of the team in public. Is that something the team notices and appreciates?

“It’s noticeable in the clubhouse, it’s definitely noticeable in the dugout when the game is in progress,” Martinez said of Turner’s leadership.

“I notice it, he comes to my office quite a bit and we just talk shop. That’s something that a lot of times I had to bring him in, but now he just shows up and we sit down and start chatting.

“He’s got it. He’s matured a lot, he understands the game, and now he’s become a teacher of the game. He sees all these young guys around him, Carter [Kieboom] playing next to him, Luis García playing next to him. So, he’s trying to be that mentor for those guys, as well as understand the big picture of what happens throughout a game. So like I said, he’d be a very valuable person here for a long period of time.

“Hopefully he wants to come back here, I know he wants to come back here, so hopefully something does get done that he deserves a contract, and he’s one of these guys that you can build an organization around.”