San Diego Padres: Delay perfect time for Fernando Tatis Jr. extension

With the first two weeks of the regular season postponed for the San Diego Padres, now might be a good time to revisit Tatis contract extension discussions.

Good morning everyone and Happy Sunday. With the remainder of spring training canceled and at least the first two weeks of the regular season postponed, the San Diego Padres are left in a bit of a limbo. The Coronavirus has impacted the nation; some areas harder than others.

However, nearly all sports have been temporarily shut down to help prevent the spread of the virus. But per reports, the Padres and Yankees are the only two teams that plan on having their Major League rosters remain at their spring training facilities.

In a sense, I think that says a lot about the chemistry that Jayce Tingler has developed in such a short amount of time. He’s stressed the fundamentals in spring camp, and it was on display in the shortened exhibitions.

But while the team awaits further word from the league, I believe that General Manager AJ Preller shoulder start or pickup discussions for a contract extension for Fernando Tatis Jr. Nothing was reportedly presented to Tatis’ camp over the winter, but this extra delay provides an opportunity to put all the cards on the table.

Tatis, 21, had a sensational rookie year and one that ended prematurely with a stress reaction in his back. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and is projected to get better and better every year. Preller has hinted at Tatis registering just 84 games last year playing a big factor in why nothing was discussed.

However, I look at what other teams like the Chicago White Sox are doing and locking up their young talent before their arbitration projections essentially become one-year high-value contracts. It’s a smart measure to keep their guys around as they enter their prime.

Securing Tatis into a team-friendly six-to-eight year deal, including club options, in the neighborhood of $60-$75MM, would convey the club’s commitment to Tatis. And the relatively low AAV would provide financial flexibility for the Padres to be active in the free-agent market like when Mookie Betts becomes available after this year.

It’s a shame that this is happening right now in the world, and I really miss baseball. However, it’s smart on everyone’s part to take proper precautions. And while we’re waiting, let’s see if Preller and Tatis pickup talks for a contract extension. Have a safe Sunday.

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