Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres agreed to a massive 14-year, $340 million contract on Tuesday. It was a monumental deal shocked the system of some MLB writers, as a 22-year-old got an expensive lifetime contract from a smaller-market team. The news of Tatis' contract brought with it an avalanche of bad takes.
Paul Hembekides, a producer for ESPN's Get Up, had this to say:
That's objectively a bad take. The fact that a smaller market team is spending money, setting an example for the other small markets is a good thing for baseball. What's bad for baseball is major market teams selling off assets and crying poverty as the Chicago Cubs have done over the past year. And if Mr. Hembo is worried about Tatis not being visible to a national audience in San Diego, someone should really introduce him to the Internet. It's a wonderful tool.
Tatis isn't going to disappear into the ether because he's playing in San Diego. He's the new national face of Gatorade and has national endorsement deals with Adidas and BMW, while also landing on the cover of MLB The Show 21. Paul, he's playing shortstop in San Diego, not Mars. Also, maybe if the network that employs Hembekides would broadcast a few games that didn't feature the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers or the Cubs, a national audience would get to see Tatis play once in a while. Just a thought.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal said the new contract was a triumph, but then went into extensive detail questioning whether or not the Padres' plan is sustainable. While I understand the exploration of the team's potential financial issues, Rosenthal never seems to point out that these aren't the same Padres owners from the 90s and 2000s. Peter Seidler's ownership group has been committed to spending money to win almost from the moment it bought the club back in 2012.
Seidler is the grandson of legendary former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, who brought the team west from Brooklyn and whose family helped lead the franchise to six World Series titles. The O'Malleys knew how to create winning baseball teams and knew spending money was a necessary element. They're not stupid. They know exactly what they're getting into with this decision.
Rosenthal points out that the Padres' payrolls over the next few years will be higher than at any point in history, but that's not really saying much. The franchise has been notoriously cheap for decades under inferior ownership and contracts have gotten gradually more expensive. Of course those numbers were going to increase.
Trevor Bauer reacted to the news by going full "Trevor Bauer" about it. He decided to break down how much Tatis will have to pay his lawyer over that time to ... presumably point out how unfair it is and promote his agent? I don't know. I rarely understand what Bauer is talking about. The thread that follows the tweet below had my head swimming:
Dude, just be happy for the kid.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale brought several awful takes to the table, including this one:
Yes, Bob, that is true. I'm not sure if you've noticed but Tony Gwynn retired 20 years ago and athletes get paid more now. So your statement means precisely nothing.
Yeah, the Padres definitely should be sent sympathy cards because if they don't win the National League West every year there is no way they could ever win a championship. Could you imagine if we lived in a world where 13 wild card teams had made the World Series throughout baseball history and seven had won it? It'd be crazy. But, that's just not possible. You have to win your division or life isn't worth living.
And last but not least, Bob unveiled this nugget:
Thanks for interrupting this moment of joy by not only reminding us of the global pandemic that's still raging but also throwing in a potential baseball work stoppage to boot. That's exactly what we needed You're the best, Bob. Why don't you just give us all paper cuts and pour lemon juice on them while you're at it?
I'll say this about Tatis: he sure does bring out the bad takes.