The San Diego Padres have pulled off a huge contract extension. They have reportedly signed infielder Fernando Tatis Jr. to a long-term deal. The contract is reportedly for 14 years with a total value of $340 million. Robert Murray of FanSided Sports broke the news Wednesday evening.
BREAKING: Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres are in agreement on a 14-year, $340 million contract extension, according to sources familiar with the deal.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) February 18, 2021
Padres Extend Fernando Tatis Jr. Long-Term
Tatis had an incredible 2020 despite the shortened campaign. He slashed .277/366/51 with 17 home runs in 257 plate appearances. That was worth roughly 2.7 WAR per Baseball-Reference in the 60-game sample. It was enough to earn Tatis a 4th place finish in the NL MVP voting and a Silver Slugger Award. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the year was a strikeout rate that dropped from 29.6 percent in 2019 to 23.7. There is almost no number that doesn’t jump off the page for the 22-year-old shortstop.
The Chicago White Sox originally signed Tatis as an international amateur in 2015, but traded him along with Erik Johnson to the Padres in exchange for James Shields and cash. Tatis has only played the equivalent of one full season, but there is little doubt he is one of the best players in baseball. He has hit .301/374/582 with 39 home runs in just 713 plate appearances.
What This Means For The Future
Altogether, this deal is simply incredible. It is the largest contract ever given to a pre-arbitration player. Additionally, it includes a full no-trade clause with no deferred money per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Tatis can absolutely retire as a Padre if he wants to. It’s still early in his career, but it’s not impossible to envision him threatening Tony Gwynn as the best San Diego Padres player ever.
The Padres have solidified the left side of their infield for most of the next decade with this Tatis deal. Third baseman Manny Machado is under contract through 2028 if he doesn’t opt-out. Furthermore, Korean import signee Ha-seong Kim will also help anchor second base through at least 2024. San Diego should be a perennial World Series contender for years if they can maintain their prospect pipeline and avoid major injuries.
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