Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, whose name has popped up in trade rumors in recent days, was removed from Tuesday night's game with the Philadelphia Phillies (GameTracker) after testing positive for COVID-19, the team announced.
Turner started Tuesday's game at shortstop and in the No. 2 lineup spot. He beat out an infield single in his first at-bat and later scored on Josh Bell's home run. Turner was replaced in the lineup to begin the bottom of the first inning.
At 45-54, the Nationals came into Tuesday well out of the postseason race and prepared to sell prior to Friday's trade deadline. Max Scherzer is their biggest trade candidate, though Turner could have been on the move as well. The positive COVID test all but ensures he will remain with Washington the rest of the season.
Turner is scheduled to become a free agent after next season, when the upcoming free agent class (Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, etc.) figures to move the salary bar for star shortstops upward. He's at least a $200 million player at the moment.
The 28-year-old Turner is having another incredible season, taking a .320/.368/.519 batting line and 18 home runs into Tuesday's game. He's also stolen 21 bases in 24 attempts and leads the National League in total bases.