It’s not often that I start writing because something good happened in the world of baseball. I usually hop on here to vent about cheap owners, Rob Manfred hating baseball, or the incompetence of the Yankee fanbase. This time, I’m here because I’m pumped for the guy who may very well be the future face of baseball. Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres have reached an agreement that could potentially keep Tatis Jr. in San Diego for the next 14 years for a cool $340m.
Although the fine print of the contract has not been revealed (options, trade-clause, structure, etc.), I would like to call this a win-win-win scenario. Win #1: The Padres get their superstar for an average of ~$24m AAV which gives the organization the flexibility to build around him (and Machado) for multiple championship windows.
Win #2: Tatis Jr. makes a buttload of money, gets to avoid having to deal with the broken system that is arbitration, and doesn’t have to worry about free agency until he’s 35 years old. Yes you read that correctly, by the time this contract expires, Tatis Jr. will only be 35 years old. It’s a long ways down the road but it still gives Tatis Jr. a chance to make even more money in his career.
Win #3: It’s good for baseball. For ages, contracts have been written up by GMs based on what the player has already accomplished versus what the player is capable of. We are starting to see a trend of the latter with Acuna and Albies signing long term deals with the Braves, Yankees buying out Severino’s arbitration years and then some, and also Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez signing long-term contracts with the White Sox before playing in their first MLB game. Those were just a few examples but there have been more deals like that in the last 3-4 years than there have been in the rest of baseball history. Also, we have just seen the Padres transform from a small to mid-market organization to a serious World Series contender for the next 5-10 years. You don’t see this type of change often and they seem to have all the characteristics of a team poised to be a real threat. They are located in a prosperous city, they still have elite prospects looking to debut soon, and they have the balls to spend money. Other small to mid-market teams need to take fucking notes.
One more thing, I’m glad that Tatis Jr. got this deal as he represents how the game should be played. At the end of the day, it’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun. A guy like that should NEVER have to apologize for just playing the game to the best of his ability; I don’t care what the score is, I don’t care what the count is, and I certainly don’t care about the feelings of a butthurt manager. I have a big middle finger ready for anybody who doesn’t like the “showboating” and personality of Fernando Tatis Jr.