Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. extension is good for the game of baseball

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The past week has been a prime example of the national media drumming up a story.

San Diego did right by its young superstar, inking him to a 14-year, $340 million contract extension – making Fernando Tatis Jr. the face of the Padres for the foreseeable future. As large market teams sit by and cry about financial losses and pinch their pennies, AJ Preller and owner Peter Seidler dominated the offseason and – shock – actually tried to improve their team.

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In this day and age, that’s a wild concept for far too many owners. You’d think this deal would be celebrated as another team seeking to win championships. But no. Instead all anyone wanted to talk about was how this contract would end up being an unsustainable financial obligation in the matter of years.

Give me a break.

This deal is good for Tatis Jr. It’s good for the San Diego Padres. It’s good for the game of baseball.

Seidler has the cash. Maybe this isn’t how we’re used to him using his financial resources, but make no mistake – like almost every other MLB owner, he’s not hurting for money. His equity firm, Seidler Equity Partners, is worth an estimated $3 billion. He’s shown his willingness to pony up for the players he and Preller covet – including Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and, now, Tatis Jr.

Padres: If you want to talk about dumb spending, talk to the Dodgers

If we’re being honest, by the time it’s all said and done, this contract could very well end up looking very team-friendly. At roughly a $24 million AAV, this is a very palatable deal for one of the game’s best young players. After all, the Dodgers are paying Trevor Bauer – a pitcher who has one, maybe two above-average seasons to his credit – $40 million in 2021 and if he doesn’t opt out, another $45 million in 2022.

In other words, the Padres are getting four years of Tatis for what the Dodgers are paying for two of Bauer. I’m taking that deal ten times out of ten. 

Is this unprecedented in franchise history? Absolutely. Does that mean it’s going to lead to financial ruin or a handicapping of the front office? No. The Los Angeles Dodgers have proven that, assembling an elite farm system while fielding a perennial World Series contender. Now, there are some stark differences there, namely revenue streams and market size. But if Seidler wants to spend his money bringing the best players in the game to San Diego? Let the guy have his fun.

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And to all you focusing on how this extension will lead to the untimely demise of the Padres’ looming championship window? Get over yourselves. This is what it takes to win.