Fernando Tatis Jr. is pleased in San Diego, and why wouldn’t he be?
He’s surrounded by a wealth of proficient gamers and a entrance workplace that’s clearly dedicated to successful a World Series; the offseason of high-level expertise acquisition has been spectacular for Padres followers. And the Padres are, clearly, pleased that Tatis is pleased. And they’re pleased that their followers are proud of Tatis — his jersey ranked fourth in gross sales amongst all MLB gamers in 2020. So the participant and the membership reportedly agreed to a deal that may hold the rising famous person on the town for an extended, very long time. The phrases, as reported by a number of sources: 14 years, $340 million.
BENDER: Is Tatis’ contract price it? For Padres, that is a straightforward “yes”
Baseball has by no means seen a contract fairly like this, for a few causes.
First, there’s this: At 14 years, it’s the longest contract in MLB historical past, breaking the earlier mark of 13 years held by each Bryce Harper (free agent) and Giancarlo Stanton (extension). The $340 million isn’t the most important quantity, although. It’s “only” third on the checklist. Mookie Betts’ extension with the Dodgers checked in at $365 million and Mike Trout’s extension to his deal was $360 million.
Here’s what actually and actually makes this one distinctive: Tatis simply turned 22 years outdated on Jan. 2. Yeah, that’s totally different.
This is the fifteenth deal signed by a participant — as a free-agent deal or as an extension — for $240 million or extra. Trout was getting into his Age 27 season when he signed his 10-year, $360 million extension. Betts was getting into his Age 27 season, and Harper and Stanton have been each getting into their Age 26 years. Alex Rodriguez makes this checklist twice; he signed with the Rangers as a free agent getting into his Age 25 season, the extension he signed with the Yankees kicked in getting into his Age 32 season.
The others: Gerrit Cole (getting into Age 29 season), Manny Machado (Age 26), Nolan Arenado (Age 28), Stephen Strasburg (Age 31), Anthony Rendon (Age 30), Albert Pujols (Age 32) and Robinson Cano (Age 31). Miguel Cabrera was 31 when he signed his eight-year, $248 million extension in 2014, however that extension didn’t kick in till 2016, when he was 33.
Several of those contracts have turned out to be delicate disasters, little question, and the identical is true as you peruse the remainder of the checklist of contracts signed for $150 million or extra. But that’s as a result of so many of those giant, profitable offers have been signed understanding the participant can be paid premium costs for seasons performed of their mid to late 30s. Almost all of these gamers have been underpaid for his or her peak years and overpaid for his or her waning seasons. It’s a messed-up system.
Tatis, although? The Padres are paying premium costs for what they anticipate to be his peak years. Did we point out he’s simply getting into his Age 22 season?
This deal will finish just a few months earlier than his thirty seventh birthday. Cabrera performed 57 video games for the Tigers in 2020, his Age 37 season; he produced a 0.0 bWAR. Pujols has performed 4 years since his thirty seventh birthday, and the Angels have been dedicated to paying him $110 million in these seasons (the precise complete is much less due to the pandemic-shortened 2020 season), with one other $30 million on faucet for 2021. In these 4 seasons after his thirty seventh birthday, Pujols has produced a minus 0.7 bWAR.
You simply can’t evaluate the Tatis deal to a lot of the offers on this checklist.
Tatis has been fairly unbelievable in his quick time within the majors, ending third within the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year vote and fourth within the 2020 NL MVP race. In these 143 profession video games, Tatis has a 7.0 bWAR, 39 homers, 27 stolen bases, 98 RBIs, 111 runs scored, a .301/.374/.571 slash line with a 154 OPS+. Jaw-dropping manufacturing for such a younger star, little question.
MORE: Even with new wage enhance, minor leaguers stay woefully underpaid
But, yeah, it’s a danger for the membership. Because let’s be actual: The Padres simply dedicated $340 million to a participant who has but to play a full season within the bigs, and regardless of the expertise, interior drive or stage of confidence within the participant, there’s an element of “yikes” in that equation. If any participant’s price that gamble, although, it is Tatis.
Young gamers signing an extension is fairly frequent, after all. Those offers sometimes cowl their arbitration years and one or two would-have-been-a-free-agent seasons, most frequently with membership choices. Some guys even lock in long-term cash with little or no time within the majors — Eloy Jimenez signed a six-year, $43 million deal with the White Sox earlier than enjoying his first big-league recreation. But there has been nothing to the extent of this Tatis deal.
Look on the Braves, who agreed to a long-term deal with their younger rising famous person, Ronald Acuña Jr., in April 2019. He was the 2018 NL Rookie of the Year, however had only one full season and 111 video games underneath his large league belt getting into 2019, his Age 21 season. Acuña’s deal coated his arbitration years, plus two potential free-agent seasons (2025-2026), with membership choices for 2027 and 2028. He can hit the free-agent market after his Age 30 season.
The baseline for that deal: eight years, $100 million. If each choices are picked up — they usually’ll be an absolute steal for the membership if he’s nonetheless wholesome, at $17 million per season — the entire deal will probably be 10 years, $134 million. That’s not even the identical universe as Tatis’ complete assure of $340 million. The trade-off? Acuña, if he’s nonetheless the famous person everybody expects him to be — and has been within the two years since signing the deal — may land one other profitable free-agent deal on the finish of his present settlement. He’ll solely be getting into his Age 31 season.
Make no mistake: This Tatis contract is groundbreaking. But is it trendsetting? Probably not, truthfully, and right here’s why: There may solely be one different participant who can be price even discussing such a deal so very early in his profession.
Let’s simply say the Nationals’ chances of signing Juan Soto for even a penny lower than a full-market-value deal have utterly evaporated.