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14 years, $340 million!? What to make of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s mega-extension with San Diego Padres

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The San Diego Padres and famous person shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. agreed to a 14-year, $340 million contract extension Wednesday night time, a supply advised ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal is the third-largest contract in MLB historical past, trailing solely Mookie Betts‘ and Mike Trout‘s file paydays.

What does the deal imply for Tatis, the Padres and the remainder of the game? Will San Diego win its first World Sequence with Tatis because the face of its franchise? The place does the newly paid Friar rank amongst MLB’s finest gamers? And who may very well be in line for the following main extension? We requested ESPN MLB consultants David Schoenfield and Bradford Doolittle to weigh in.

Fourteen years, $340 million? What do you make of the years and complete {dollars} the Padres are giving their younger famous person?

Doolittle: Fourteen years is … a very very long time. By the tip of this deal, groups can be flying from their resorts — which can be constructed within the sky like Lando’s metropolis in “The Empire Strikes Again” — to the ballpark in hovercraft. Everybody may have a robotic maid with curler skate toes named Rosie. However by then, who is aware of, $30 million may barely be sufficient to cowl a yr’s lease for a studio house in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. The Padres can be taking part in in a ballpark constructed on stilts. My feeling is that the Padres suppose Fernando Tatis Jr. goes to be actually good for a very very long time. If anybody is value this type of contract at age 22, it is in all probability him.

Schoenfield: I do not suppose we’re allowed to curse right here, however holy … cow! Speak about shopping for out his free-agent years. I really like this. I really like the Padres spending the cash to lock up a participant who may very well be the perfect and most enjoyable franchise cornerstone within the sport for the following decade-plus, a participant who — sure — has the potential to be the perfect in franchise historical past. It isn’t with out danger, since Tatis had the again damage as a rookie; however from what we have seen in his two half-seasons within the majors, if he stays wholesome this can show to be a sensible funding for the Padres.

What does it imply for the Padres to have Tatis locked up for his prime years at such a younger age?

Doolittle: The Padres see what everybody sees, which is that Tatis is the complete bundle — and never simply due to what he does on the sphere. He is a superb hitter whose peak remains to be nicely sooner or later. He has nice bodily abilities and holds down an important defensive place on the sphere. However he’s massive too and sometime can be an All-Star at different positions. And for a crew that hasn’t had a real franchise icon since Tony Gwynn retired, Tatis could be that for the Padres, in addition to one for all of baseball. Greater than something, it alerts to San Diego followers that the Pads aren’t simply loading up for a short-term problem to the Los Angeles Dodgers. They plan on being an element yr in and yr out.

Schoenfield: It means the Padres are going to promote plenty of tickets in upcoming seasons as they go toe-to-toe with the Dodgers in the perfect rivalry in MLB for the reason that Boston Red SoxNew York Yankees circa 2004. I believe there is a lesson to be realized right here for all organizations, big-market or small-market: The Padres did not fiddle with Tatis’ service time again in 2019 as he made the Opening Day roster. They may have simply have saved him in Triple-A for a few weeks to protect one other season of crew management. Perhaps that gesture helped them lock up Tatis with this contract.



Fernando Tatis Jr. hits an opposite-field house run and celebrates in type throughout the Padres’ playoff matchup with Cardinals.

The place does Tatis rank among the many finest gamers in baseball proper now?

Doolittle: He’s on the quick checklist. Mike Trout hasn’t relinquished his crown but, and if he does, Mookie Betts might be finest positioned to take his place. After that, you get into the group of quick risers, together with Tatis, Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr. There can be others who rise to problem, like maybe Wander Franco. However as we put together for that debate, the necessary factor to bear in mind is that there are actually solely a handful of transcendent gamers within the massive leagues at any given time and the Padres have locked certainly one of them up for the foreseeable future.

Schoenfield: He’s proper close to the highest. He now has a few full season’s value of taking part in time (148 video games, 629 plate appearances) and has hit .301/.374/.582 with 39 house runs, 27 steals and seven.0 WAR. His plate self-discipline improved in 2020, as he reduce his strikeout price from 29.6% to 23.7%. He’s getting into his age-22 season and has an opportunity to be the perfect participant within the sport — which, surprisingly, is not as uncommon as that sounds.

Ten gamers have led their league in bWAR at 22: Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Bryce Harper, Stan Musial, Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken Jr., Pete Reiser, Mike Trout, Johnny Bench and Rogers Hornsby. These are all inner-circle gamers, besides Harper (who hasn’t been capable of match that 2015 season) and Reiser (who received injured). Like Brad, I might nonetheless lean to Trout or Betts as finest in 2021, however Tatis has inner-circle potential.

When you had been beginning a crew, the place would Tatis rank among the many present gamers you’d select to construct round?

Doolittle: If we take the query at face worth — beginning a crew — then we’re speaking a few course of that takes some time, and due to that, I might take Tatis over Trout, Betts or anybody else. The explanations are apparent and mirror people who impressed the Padres to make this funding. Tatis could be very younger and excellent; he has a talent and place profile that can maintain him viable for a very long time to come back; and better of all, he offers my new crew an instantaneous identification and a cause to come back to the ballpark, it doesn’t matter what else is occurring.

Schoenfield: Whereas I would nonetheless think about Trout or Betts, I believe I might purpose for one of many three younger phenoms. Acuna has extra pace and is a greater defender than Soto, however Acuna’s strikeout price will in the end restrict his offensive upside. Acuna remains to be wonderful although, hitting .250/.406/.581 in 2020. Soto, nonetheless, has an opportunity to be a generational hitter within the mode of a Williams with ridiculous triple-slash strains like 2020’s .351/.490/.695. If Soto can do that each season, I will dwell together with his protection. However for all-around brilliance, I will go together with Tatis, who has developed into not less than a mean shortstop on protection, possibly a bit of higher. That offers him the nod over Acuna or Soto. (The one caveat being the again damage Tatis suffered in 2019, which maybe makes the opposite two safer long-term decisions.)

Shortstop is loaded in MLB proper now: The place does Tatis rank among the many finest within the sport on the place?

Doolittle: Tatis may already be the perfect hitter on the place. By way of all-around play, I would nonetheless lean towards Francisco Lindor, however it could be a tricky name. And even that’s solely a query if we’re speaking about which man provides a greater probability to win this yr. If we widen the timeframe any greater than that, then it is Tatis, no query. It’d already be Tatis.

Schoenfield: Yeah, I believe it is Tatis, as nicely. Lindor’s protection makes it shut, however he additionally has topped out at a .358 OBP in his finest season (and simply .335 in every of the previous two seasons). Lindor’s sturdiness is a giant plus, and we nonetheless need to see how Tatis fares in that class. Finally, I am a believer in Tatis’ protection, so he will get my vote (with additional apologies to the underrated Trevor Story, and I really feel Corey Seager goes to have an enormous 2021).

What number of World Sequence will the Padres win throughout the size of Tatis’ contract?

Doolittle: Two. The Padres are poised for yearly competition, and so long as they’ll keep away from too many catastrophic contracts, they seem like keen to play in a reasonably excessive payroll bracket. And naturally, there’s a matter of an excellent and nonetheless deep farm system.

Consider this: The Padres signed Ha-Seong Kim over the winter, and he profiles as a first-division shortstop proper now. With San Diego, he’ll play second base or transfer round. Then there’s CJ Abrams, the perfect shortstop prospect within the non-Wander Franco class and among the finest general prospects within the sport. When you’ve gotten maybe the sport’s finest participant already at that spot, that is a tremendous luxurious to have. As an example Tatis bulks up and loses some defensive vary. Advantageous, you progress him over and let Abrams do his factor. Otherwise you transfer Abrams if he’s forcing your hand and use him in, say, heart area. Otherwise you use Abrams to anchor a blockbuster addition that balances the roster. San Diego is in the perfect sense of the phrase loaded.

Schoenfield: I am curious to see what occurs to Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers in 2021, as each carried out approach above their profession norms within the shortened season. In the event that they fall again to earth, the offense could be extra excellent than nice — and that makes the Dodgers the decisive favourite, not less than this season and possibly in 2022, earlier than the following wave with the likes Abrams and Luis Campusano makes an impression.

To not point out, the Atlanta Braves have an excellent basis, and the New York Mets are maybe constructing one, as nicely. However the Padres are going to be proper there for the foreseeable future. (Brad did not even point out potential future ace MacKenzie Gore.) It is simply that the Nationwide League goes to be massacre for the instant future. So I will lean extra conservative and say one title.

Which younger star may very well be subsequent to get a megadeal like Tatis’ contract?

Doolittle: Soto looks as if an excellent guess. The Washington Nationals have the assets, and after shedding Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon in recent times, they determine to be motivated to maintain a two-star basis in place in Soto and Trea Turner. Soto will not fairly garner a Tatis-level dedication, as a result of he’s a nook outfielder; however then once more, Soto could be a 2021 Ted Williams, so that you by no means know.

Schoenfield: Soto is smart. Max Scherzer, 36, can be a free agent after 2021, and if the Nats do convey him again, it will likely be on a brief deal given his age; so they should maintain Soto as that famous person face of the franchise. How about Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers? He is not a free agent till after 2023, but when Seager leaves after this season, they may need to lock up Bellinger to a long-term deal.

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88E70B70D1Aa46A497A524Eca9E5C16A?S=96&D=Mm&R=G 14 Years, $340 Million!? What To Make Of Fernando Tatis Jr.'S Mega-Extension With San Diego Padres
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