The San Diego Padres boldly declared their intention to be a long-term contender on Wednesday night in the form of a record-breaking contract extension with Fernando Tatis Jr.
San Diego reportedly agreed to terms with their 22-year-old superstar on a 14-year, $340 million deal that will keep him with the team through the 2035 season. The contract reportedly includes a full no-trade clause and no deferred money, as well.
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Tatis Jr. is coming off a fourth-place finish in National League MVP voting after he slashed .277/.366/.571 in the shortened 2020 season. The Padres shortstop belted 17 home runs and drove in 45 runs in 59 contests, en route to the first Silver Slugger of his career.
For most of my lifetime, the Padres have largely been a non-factor, especially on the national landscape. But in recent years, AJ Preller has rebuilt San Diego into a force to be reckoned with that arrived in a big way last year, finishing the year with the second-best record in the Senior Circuit.
The Padres of old are officially dead
Between Tatis Jr. and his fellow infielder Manny Machado’s mega-deals, the Padres are doling out more money than they did on the entire payroll from 2000 to 2010. They’re done being the bottom feeders of the league – and with a farm system that still boasts top-level prospects – they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Tatis Jr. is the new face of Major League Baseball. He’s young, he’s bold and he’s taking baseball by storm. Just weeks ago, MLB The Show anointed him as the new face of their franchise, tapping him as the next generation of the game. This contract puts him in position to be the most recognizable Padres player of all-time by the time it reaches its conclusion – which is saying something given the man who currently holds that title.
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Celebrate this, Friar Faithful. These types of moments don’t come along every day (as you’re all well aware of). A generational talent, signed throughout the prime of his career at what could end up being a tremendous bargain. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.