It appears that the San Diego Padres and Fernando Tatis Jr. will reach an agreement on an extension for the shortstop.
A.J. Preller is making moves to improve the San Diego Padres, even in a slow-moving MLB market.
It is extremely notable that most of his acquisitions recently are players who have multiple years of control left. This means he wants to build a team that can compete for a multi-year window.
After bolstering the starting rotation, Preller’s priorities became less extreme for the short-term future. Adding a bullpen arm and bench bat would be useful. Outside of that, his next highest priority is extending Fernando Tatis Jr. It is a no-brainer why the Padres want to lock up Tatis long term. At 22 years old, he is quickly becoming the face of baseball. He breaks unwritten rules, plays with extreme aggressiveness, and has MVP swagger.
On Thursday, it was announced that Francisco Lindor was traded to the New York Mets. Lindor is supposed to be the top free agent next offseason. It’s very possible that new Mets owner, Steve Cohen, will want to show off his money and quickly sign Lindor to a big-time extension.
On Thursday, it was also announced that A.J. Preller was flying down to the Dominican Republic to discuss extension possibilities with Tatis.
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 7, 2021
It’s a race for the two teams to extend their star shortstop. When the first player signs their extension, it will create a precedent on how much an elite shortstop will make. The second player will use that contract as a baseline and try to top it. Preller has realized that, and it looks like he is getting close to signing a deal.
This morning Pio Deportes reported that Preller and Tatis are looking to sign for an estimated 11 years and $320 million. The goal of this deal is to lock down Tatis before he reaches his maximum potential. Currently, the Padres have Tatis on the league minimum and then three years of arbitration. If he continues his stellar performance, it’s expected that he will earn a huge payday in the arbitration stage and even more money in free agency.
Sources: Two different sources indicated to Pio Deportes that the San Diego Padres are negotiating a contract with Fernando Tatis Jr.for USD $ 320 million and 11 seasons.
— PIO DEPORTES (@piodeportes) January 9, 2021
Many might question giving this much-guaranteed money to a player that hasn’t even played 162 games. On top of that, Tatis has missed chunks of two different seasons due to injuries. The Padres believe they can get Tatis at his prime for a cheaper rate than if they wait for him to be a free agent. The upside for Tatis is that if he does get injured or doesn’t perform as well as expected, then he has a large, guaranteed contract.
From a money perspective, the Padres payroll would probably be maxing out with the contracts currently on the books. It is reasonable to assume that this contract will include deferred money or be very backloaded.
This signing is huge for the Padres and their fans. For a long time, they have struggled and traded away their good players for prospects. Now the Padres have spent big money on Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer to bring in top free agents. Tatis will represent homegrown talent that the Padres will lock up for years to come.