Fernando Tatis Jr. is comfortable 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, comfortable that Tatis is comfortable. And they’re comfortable 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 a protracted, very long time. The phrases, as reported by a number of sources: 14 years, $340 million.
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 record. 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 really makes this one distinctive: Tatis simply turned 22 years previous 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 coming into his Age 27 season when he signed his 10-year, $360 million extension. Betts was coming into his Age 27 season, and Harper and Stanton have been each coming into their Age 26 years. Alex Rodriguez makes this record twice; he signed with the Rangers as a free agent coming into his Age 25 season, the extension he signed with the Yankees kicked in coming into his Age 32 season.
The others: Gerrit Cole (coming 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 gentle disasters, little doubt, and the identical is true as you peruse the remainder of the record 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 coming into his Age 22 season?
This deal will finish a number of 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 whole 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 examine the Tatis deal to a lot of the offers on this record.
Tatis has been fairly unimaginable in his brief 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 doubt.
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 irrespective of the expertise, inside drive or stage of confidence within the participant, there’s an element of “yikes” in that equation. If any participant’s value that gamble, although, it is Tatis.
Young gamers signing an extension is fairly widespread, 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 take care of the White Sox earlier than taking part in his first big-league recreation. But there was nothing to the extent of this Tatis deal.
Look on the Braves, who agreed to a long-term take care of 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 below his large league belt coming into 2019, his Age 21 season. Acuña’s deal lined 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 overall deal can be 10 years, $134 million. That’s not even the identical universe as Tatis’ whole 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 coming 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 value even discussing the sort of 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 fully evaporated.