MLB Breaking News: Padres Lock Up Tatis Jr. For 14 Years

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MLB Breaking News: Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a 14-year contract that locks him up through his age-35 season in 2034. At an annual value of about $24 million, the shortstop’s contract is team-friendly despite having a total value of $340 million.

Tatis Jr. finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2019 despite playing just 84 games, then finished fourth in NL MVP voting in 2020. Although he has only played 149 MLB games, Fernando Tatis Jr. has already established himself as one of the league’s premier stars.

MLB Breaking News: San Diego Puts Finishing Touches on their Offseason

Prior to the 2019 season, San Diego signed star third baseman Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million contract, and now they have their left-side of the infield locked up through at least 2029, barring any trades. Tatis Jr.’s flaws, his inconsistent defense, and lack of volume will be pointed out as criticisms of his massive deal, but at $24 million per year, he doesn’t even need to be a superstar for this to work out well for San Diego.

This offseason, the Padres have already spun trades for Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove to rebuild their rotation. They also signed Ha-Seong Kim, re-signed Jurickson Profar, and signed Keone Kela. San Diego, by signing Tatis Jr. to a long-term deal, has locked in a championship contender for years to come.

MLB Breaking News: Fernando Tatis Jr.’s Numbers

In 2019, at 20 years old, Tatis Jr. tore the cover off the ball, slashing .317/.379/.590, with a .398 wOBA, 150 wRC+, and 3.6 WAR (in just 84 games). His .410 BABIP made him look prone to flukes, and his poor defense was concerning, but he backed up his 2019 production with an even better season in 2020. In 2020, he struck out less, walked more, and had a 149 wRC+ and 2.9 WAR (in just 59 games). He also made significant jumps defensively in 2020, as his DRS went from -3 to 1, and his OAA increased from -13 to 7. Tatis Jr. is projected a 5.7 win and 5.9 win player by Depth Charts and Steamer next year, with both projecting him to have a 135 wRC+.

MLB Breaking News: Tatis Jr. Sets the Market

Fernando Tatis Jr.’s contract is huge, as it not only sets the market for other young stars, including Juan Soto, who could end up signing for half a billion dollars. It also sets the market for next offseason, which includes Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, and Corey Seager in free agency.

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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