Fernando Tatis Jr., the rising face of baseball, agreed to a 14-year, $340 million contract extension with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, securing one of many largest ensures in American sports activities historical past and wedding ceremony himself to the group with which he shortly established himself as a star, sources accustomed to the deal advised ESPN.
The 6-foot-3, 217-pound Tatis, whose dazzling shortstop play is probably exceeded by his prowess on the plate, went to San Diego by way of commerce and is now the participant round whom the Padres will construct a group geared up to win a championship.
Filled with substance to again up his fashion, Tatis blitzed by way of the minor leagues after the Padres acquired him from the Chicago White Sox in a deal for growing older starter James Shields. His expertise in spring coaching was so obvious in 2019 that San Diego began him at shortstop on Opening Day, eschewing the usual play of sending supreme skills to the minor leagues to govern their service time and preserve them below group management for an additional season.
The mutual admiration between the group and Tatis was clear sufficient that the Padres hoped it would not be a mistake. And with a deal that can lock him up for almost a decade and a half, by way of his age-35 season, the Padres satisfied Tatis that small-market San Diego is the place he belongs.
Tatis wasn’t keen to relinquish management of that. He’ll obtain a full no-trade clause, permitting him veto energy over any potential deal. The $340 million marks the biggest deal given to a participant earlier than he reaches arbitration — almost $200 million greater than Trout’s first contract extension. Trout’s second extension set a home sports activities file of $426.5 million assured, and Betts’ $392 million deal is now adopted by Tatis’ contract.
Tatis joins Manny Machado, who performs third base subsequent to him, as Padres with $300 million-plus offers — they usually be a part of New York Yankees duo Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton as teammates with such gaudy contracts. Each Machado and Tatis are represented by agent Dan Lozano.
Machado’s settlement with San Diego earlier than the 2019 season was a turning level for the group, which has positioned itself as the best risk to the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers, who occur to play within the Padres’ division. San Diego blossomed throughout the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, with Tatis taking part in a front-and-center function after a dynamic rookie season that ended due to damage.
Hitting leadoff, together with his trademark dreadlocked hair flowing out of his batting helmet and a bat flip on the prepared, Tatis was the very best participant within the sport for the primary half of the season, an unstoppable mixture of uncooked expertise, polish and pleasure, the kind that’s evident even to the informal fan.
His appearances in additional commercials — for Main League Baseball and merchandise he was promoting — illustrated that Tatis is perhaps completely different than different would-be stars. The game, ravenous for somebody with extensive attraction, struck gold with Tatis, who was raised within the Dominican Republic by his father, longtime main league infielder Fernando Tatis, and his mom, Maria.
Tatis wasn’t a extremely touted prospect when he signed with the White Sox as a 16-year-old. The athleticism, the explosiveness, all the abilities he now wields — they had been merely instruments again then. Possibly they’d arrive, perhaps they would not.
San Diego noticed one thing completely different — a participant who, in his first yr after signing, grew, gained muscle, began wanting the half. After the commerce, he grew one other inch, then one other, and by the point Tatis was embarrassing Double-A pitchers, he regarded the a part of a future star.
To turn out to be that so shortly, not simply ending fourth within the MVP voting in 2020 however compelling a group to ensure $340 million, speaks to the Padres’ dedication to Tatis. They may have saved him for 4 extra seasons earlier than he reached free company. As an alternative, after he hit .277/.366/.571 with 17 dwelling runs and 45 RBIs in 59 video games, they gave Tatis greater than any free agent ever has obtained.
Talks between the perimeters picked up early this week, and sources accustomed to the discussions anticipated a deal to get finished. One in every of this dimension? One in every of this magnitude? Properly, when Tatis does one thing, he tends to do it huge.
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