Even though Fernando Tatis Jr. hasn’t even played a full season in the big leagues, the San Diego Padres need to extend him now.
Despite these rumors of the Padres possibly trading for Francisco Lindor and moving their franchise player to center field, Tatis is the face of this team and will be for the next decade.
That is if the Padres are wise and try to lock him up early.
I get that he’s only 20 years old (will turn 21 in January) and only has 334 at-bats in the big leagues, but I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the game who doesn’t think he’s going to be a future superstar.
After just 433 Major League at-bats the Braves extended Acuna for at least eight years and $100 million through his age 28 season. And they have two options years for $17 million each that will very likely be picked up.
More than likely this will end up being a 10-year deal for $124 million, which is a steal.
I’m not sure the Padres would get that lucky with an extension for Tatis, but at least it gives them a blueprint to work with.
Tatis still has five more years of team control with two more years of pre-arbitration status.
San Diego could follow the blueprint of the Braves and give Tatis $1 million for that third year that he’s pre-arbitration eligible and then quickly move up to a higher AAV.
Francisco Lindor is a pretty fair comparison for Tatis and Lindor made over $10 million in his first year of arbitration and is expected to make around $16 million in 2020.
Following that pattern, he and Tatis would likely make around $20 million in their final year of arbitration.
That means San Diego could go ahead and take care of his arbitration season for around $46 million through year 2024 — his age 25 season.
And then maybe you extend him for three more seasons at $20 million a season.
In total that would be eight years and $106 million.
That gives Tatis some security, and it also locks up the team’s franchise player for the next eight seasons.
Of course, it takes two sides to get a deal like this done, and maybe Tatis isn’t interested in an extension. But if he is, the Padres should be working hard to get it done sooner rather than later.