WASHINGTON -- Padres shortstop Trea Turner is eligible to join the Nationals on June 14, about a year after he signed with the Padres who selected him as the 13th overall pick in the 2014 Draft, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com.
In December, Turner was part of a three-team trade that sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to the Rays, Wil Myers to the Padres and right-hander Joe Ross to the Nationals. Turner was drafted by the Padres last year, so he wasn't eligible to join the Nationals until this month.
Turner, ranked by MLB.com as the Padres' No. 3 prospect, is currently playing for Double-A San Antonio and is having a stellar season, hitting .325 with five home runs and 30 RBIs entering Sunday's action.
Once he joins the Nationals, Turner could start with Double-A Harrisburg while ending the season with Triple-A Syracuse. It would not come as a surprise to see Turner in big league camp next Spring Training.
As early as next year, Turner could be Ian Desmond's replacement at shortstop. The Nationals are not expected to re-sign Desmond, who is eligible for free agency after this season.
One rival talent evaluator noted some similarities between Turner and Desmond. The evaluator predicted that Turner will be a solid defender with the ability to drive in runs. Unlike Desmond, however, Turner is expected to be a top-of-the-order bat.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.