Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to be with the San Diego Padres for a long, long time. The 22-year-old phenom has reportedly agreed to a 14-year contract that will pay him in excess of $300 million -- initial reports suggest total guarantees will hit $340 million. It's the third largest contract in MLB history as far as total dollars are concerned and a huge move by the Padres to secure their future.
Tatis is baseball's most exciting player and the future of the game. Despite playing in a relatively small market, he's already secured national endorsement deals with Adidas, Gatorade and BMW, while also landing on the cover of MLB The Show 21. He's a true superstar and the Padres couldn't risk him eventually walking away.
Over the past two years it's become clear Tatis loves San Diego and the city's fans. It isn't surprising that he signed a long-term deal to stay, but I think everyone is shocked at just how long he tied himself to the Padres. This will be his one big contract, as he's unlikely to get another at 35 if he finally hits free agency. He's obviously confident the franchise is built to compete long-term and that America's Finest City offers him everything he's looking for.
The Padres have been aggressive since soon after the current ownership group took over back in 2012. It took a few years to get everything settled, but after hiring A.J. Preller as the team's general manager in 2014, the franchise's entire mentality changed. The ownership group, led by Peter Seidler, has been focused on big, bold moves aimed solely at putting a winning product on the field. The Padres have been willing to spend money to put a championship-caliber roster together and invest in the farm system to build for long-term success.
Along with high profile free agent signings like those of Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado, this Tatis deal shows, yet again, that Seidler & Co. are committed to winning long-term. San Diego baseball has changed forever as a result.
Tatis is in San Diego to stay. That news is great for him, great for the Padres and great for baseball.