San Diego Padres General Manager AJ Preller appeared on the Ben and Woods show but declined to publicly comment on Fernando Tatis Jr.’s extension.
The Ben & Woods Show has been out at San Diego Padres Spring Training this week, interviewing various players and manager Jayce Tingler. Today, it was General Manager AJ Preller’s turn, and he was asked about several of the prospects that are close to seeing the big leagues, the status of Tommy Pham, and Fernando Tatis Jr.‘s long-term future here.
Regarding that last item, it’s a fair question as several teams have been locking down their young talent. Most notably, the Chicago White Sox, who have signed both Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert to long-term deals before they ever took a Major League at-bat. They recently just extended reliever Aaron Bummer, and Yoan Moncada could be next.
The Milwaukee Brewers just did the same with Freddy Peralta, signing him to a team-friendly, five-year deal worth $15.5 million. So naturally, all eyes are on the Padres’ front office and their timing to get a long-term deal done with Tatis. The 21-year-old was on the radio program earlier this week and indicated that “he would love to stay in San Diego for as long as possible.”
However, AJ Preller expressed that the next step in Tatis’ development is improving off last year throughout a full season. The rookie sensation was limited to just 84 games due to multiple injuries, but a back injury prematurely shut down his season.
He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and may have had a legitimate case had he played all year. I can understand waiting given his age, but the downside to potentially having that discussion after the 2020 season is if he has a monster year with MVP considerations, then, obviously, his price tag is going to skyrocket.
I don’t think it would have been the worst thing in the world for the Padres to have gotten something done this past offseason.