Despite what you think, the San Diego Padres are not at a point where they would trade Fernando Tatis Jr.
In recent days, there have been several reports that teams are “checking” if the San Diego Padres would consider trading Fernando Tatis Jr.
This is natural, as the Padres handed Xander Bogaerts an 11-year contract for $280 million and essentially told him he would be the starting shortstop.
Where does this signing leave Tatis?
Signing Bogaerts probably annoyed Fernando Tatis Jr. and made him further regret the actions that robbed him of the 2022 season. Tatis broke his wrist in an off-season motorcycle accident and did not report the injury until he showed up for spring training in February. The right-handed hitter would have missed half the season, but a PED suspension (as the slugger was about to rejoin the team) and an 80-game suspension killed his year. To make it worse, the suspension will spill over to the first month of the 2023 season.
Fernando Tatis Jr. will not have an opportunity for a complete season (150-plus games) until the 2024 season, and that is tragic. Because of his horrendous 2022 season, Tatis will likely begin the season in the outfield for the Padres. Not the end of the world for San Diego.
Are the Padres upset with Tatis? Yes. You better believe they are peeved.
Would they consider dealing their franchise player? No. Not at this point. This talk is just silly.
Trading Tatis, at this point in his career, would net the Padres pennies on the dollars. His value is low. The PED suspension is an issue, as is his massive contract. The Padres gave Tatis a 14-year, $340 million extension before the start of the 2021 season. The Dominican superstar is still owed $332 million until the 2034 season. That is quite the commitment.
A.J. Preller will not trade a player when their value is low. Especially when the player is only 24 years old. Tatis is not a washed-up veteran with an inflated salary. He is not Eric Hosmer or Matt Kemp. There is a massive upside and despite some character issues, the Padres are not even close to a point where they would entertain offers.
Speaking of offers. What team could even pay the asking price? Even at a discount.
We are talking about a 24-year-old with a lifetime .965 OPS. A player with astonishing speed and athleticism who has light tower pop in his bat. Yes, there are issues. If he didn’t have issues, then this topic would not even be relevant. The fact he upset his franchise does not mean he would be dealt. Just stop.
At this point, the Padres are not who you think they are. They are not overextended with their salaries and on the verge of a firesale. If you live outside San Diego, this is a strange concept based on the past actions of this franchise. That is understandable. However, this is a different era of Padres baseball, and Peter Seidler is not going anywhere. The team will continue to spend and enjoy its success.
Fernando Tatis Jr. has not endeared himself to the fan base or the front office. But the fans and the baseball management department know he is very much a part of this team. Some would argue that “El Nino” is the heart of it. Time will pass. Wounds will heal, and so will his past actions. Tatis is a special player.
It may take time, but Fernando Tatis Jr. will once again be the face of MLB. The young player seems to have always lacked total focus, and this past year has surely developed the character of Tatis. I feel sorry for MLB pitching, as Tatis will take it out on them starting in May 2023. And he will be doing it in a Padres uniform. That is a fact.