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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Padres lock up Fernando Tatis Jr. to record contract

The Padres hope to never have to see Fernando Tatis Jr. play a game in another uniform.

The team and it’s wonderkid shortstop took a giant step toward that aim on Wednesday by agreeing to terms on a 14-year contract, according to multiple sources.

The deal is worth $340 million and is the longest in MLB history.

Tatis, who turned 22 on Jan. 2 and has two years of service, has yet to play the equivalent of a full season. But he finished fourth in National League MVP voting in 2020 after batting .277 with a .937 OPS (on-base-plus slugging percentage).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2021 at 08:51 PM | 111 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fernando tatis, jr., padres

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   1. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 17, 2021 at 08:58 PM (#6005545)
Go Padres! This is epic.

At least you can't doubt their commitment to winning. This team has made moves(not all great, though) the last few years which is great for baseball in San Diego.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 17, 2021 at 09:05 PM (#6005547)
wow. great news for Padres fans.
   3. Darren Posted: February 17, 2021 at 09:08 PM (#6005549)
Wow, this is kind of really awesome. Good for him and good for them.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: February 17, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6005552)
Agree with 1, 2, and 3... Wow... it's a commitment and wow... Not sure it's a good deal, but it shows the fanbase something that they never had before... and that alone can show the players something and we'll see... and Wow... I'm a bit speechless right now.
   5. asinwreck Posted: February 17, 2021 at 09:49 PM (#6005555)
Jerry Reinsdorf exhales.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2021 at 09:52 PM (#6005556)
The Padres have 2 of the 7 $300M+ deals in baseball.
   7. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 17, 2021 at 09:55 PM (#6005558)
"it's wonderkid" in a legitimate newspaper? What ever happened to copyediting?

There's a lot of ways this could go wrong (it's probably more like to go wrong than to go well, in the end), but I love the idea of it -- long-term commitment from both sides.
   8. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 17, 2021 at 10:45 PM (#6005564)
What ever happened to copyediting?


Profit margins collapsed and now many newspapers are barely more than websites with fancy names.
   9. The Duke Posted: February 17, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6005570)
It’s hard to see how Tatis could come back to earth but the wisdom of deals that are longer than 6-7 years has not yet been proven. Love it for Padres fans but it is a helluva bet. I’m old enough to remember Garry Templeton coming up to the cardinals with all that star power for the first few years. Then, it just went away due injuries, fan issues, supposed mental health concerns etc.

I hope he is the next Trout. Very exciting. But so young.
   10. DFA Posted: February 17, 2021 at 11:09 PM (#6005571)
I wonder how this contract will compare to the George Brett "lifetime" contract he had with the Royals all those years ago. Gut reactions:
- 14 years is a long time, and it seems like there is a not zero chance of this being a really bad deal for the Padres
- I thought Tatis would sign a team friendly deal in exchange for the Padres not playing with his service clock
- Good for Padre fans, though. Not without risk, but eff it.
- I also wonder if this kind of thing might reduce odds of a lockout/strike out?
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2021 at 11:11 PM (#6005572)
What would he have to produce to make this a break-even contract? A writer I know estimated that assuming 5% WAR/$ inflation, he'd only need 35 WAR for the next 14 years to be worth it. As long as he doesn't just crater, he seems like a fair bet for that.

I think the only caveat with that analysis is that the Padres would already get him for five years at a drastically below market price, so you're really paying for the next nine years, which are much more tenuous.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 18, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6005574)
The Padres would sell a lot of tickets, were such allowed. Should be considerable carryover when it is again, as well as a boost to current TV ratings. Only $24,285,714 per year - a bargain for the prime of Tatis. If healthy.
   13. Jack Sommers Posted: February 18, 2021 at 12:44 AM (#6005578)
He'll pay 200M in taxes.....or something like that

Sportico LINK
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 07:49 AM (#6005588)
#13 I’m pretty sure that’s not quite right. He’ll pay about 50% in income taxes to CA and the IRS. But if he pay taxes when he plays in other states he shouldn’t get double taxed for that in CA as well. At least, that was my experience when I had a similar tax situation with NY and CA (on much lower income than Tatis will earn).
   15. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 07:51 AM (#6005589)
Only $24,285,714 per year - a bargain for the prime of Tatis.

But they’re also paying $24 million per year for his non-prime years.

Not saying it’s a bad contract — I’ll leave that analysis to others. But I would look at this as $340 million for what is likely to be nearly all of Tatis’ career value, regardless of how many years that comes in.

As noted above, they could have had him for 4 more years of team control without having to commit to a long-term deal. I’m sure they are saving a bit of money by entering into this deal now vs waiting 2 or 3 years, but I’m not sure how much.
   16. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 18, 2021 at 08:32 AM (#6005590)
#13 I’m pretty sure that’s not quite right. He’ll pay about 50% in income taxes to CA and the IRS. But if he pay taxes when he plays in other states he shouldn’t get double taxed for that in CA as well. At least, that was my experience when I had a similar tax situation with NY and CA (on much lower income than Tatis will earn).


Yep, the Supreme Court confirmed a few years ago that you can't get double-taxed on state and local income. Wynne v. Maryland Comptroller of Treasury.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: February 18, 2021 at 08:34 AM (#6005591)
Not saying it’s a bad contract — I’ll leave that analysis to others. But I would look at this as $340 million for what is likely to be nearly all of Tatis’ career value, regardless of how many years that comes in.


That is the only real way to look at it, you assume you overpay at the end, you hope that inflation happens so the overpay doesn't look so bad, and you are pretty certain you are underpaying in the early middle. Add in that once again, baseball gets revenue from people in the seats more than any other sport out there, and this is going to make fans excited to be Padres fans for years to come, so they aren't just buying tickets in advance in July in the years that they are contenders, but now in March.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:14 AM (#6005601)
But they’re also paying $24 million per year for his non-prime years.


$24M isn't very much. Top players are getting AAVs over $35M. Especially not 10 years from now. Even 2% inflation reduces the PV to $19.5M in 10 years.
   19. McCoy Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:22 AM (#6005603)
How many players finish long term contracts with the team they signed it with?

I always love when a team gets congratulated for being "committed".

The Marlins were very committed when they signed Stanton long term.

Tatis appears to not have a no trade clause so he's probably going to get traded before 10 years of service time.
   20. . Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6005605)
this is going to make fans excited to be Padres fans for years to come,


No, it's not. Anytime a player signs one of these deals people say that, and it never happens.

Lot of risk here for the Padres. Good chance this and the Machado contract won't age well. If the current owner flips the team in the next few years, expect the new ownership to want to shed one or more of Machado, Tatis, or Hosmer.
   21. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6005611)
Well, yeah. They'd also want to shed one of you, me, and Hosmer. Or Stan, Ollie, and Hosmer. Or Venus, Serena, and Hosmer.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:54 AM (#6005613)
$24M isn't very much. Top players are getting AAVs over $35M. Especially not 10 years from now. Even 2% inflation reduces the PV to $19.5M in 10 years.

It’s a $340 million contract. AAV is basically irrelevant IMO, except for luxury tax purposes.
   23. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#6005614)
No, it's not. Anytime a player signs one of these deals people say that, and it never happens.


We'll see. Harper in Philly definitely got younger people interested in the team and has given an otherwise mediocre team a bit of interest. First time since Utley/Howard/Rollins left that people in the city are actually wearing jerseys of a current player.
   24. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6005616)
Tatis appears to not have a no trade clause so he's probably going to get traded before 10 years of service time.
Rosenthal reported that Tatis has a full no trade clause.
   25. McCoy Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6005617)
A big new addition signing can help in the short term but if the team doesn't win attendance and interest go down fairly quickly.
   26. McCoy Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:19 AM (#6005619)
Well, that's what happens when you use DraftKings as your news source
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6005633)

Well, yeah. They'd also want to shed one of you, me, and Hosmer. Or Stan, Ollie, and Hosmer. Or Venus, Serena, and Hosmer.


Ugh, that offseason of stories about how baseball owners were ####### over players and colluding because Eric "The Best FA Available" Hosmer wasn't signed got old real fast.
   28. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6005636)
What would he have to produce to make this a break-even contract? A writer I know estimated that assuming 5% WAR/$ inflation, he'd only need 35 WAR for the next 14 years to be worth it. As long as he doesn't just crater, he seems like a fair bet for that.


Any sort of analysis needs to account for the fact that the Padres could have gone year to year with him for the next four years. So how good this contract is depends on how he produces after 2024. The bet the Padres are making is that he'll be good enough over the next four years that he would get even more money if they signed him then and that he'll be good enough over the following ten years to justify what they'll pay him.
   29. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:22 AM (#6005637)
I think is a great deal for both sides - Tatis turned 22 last month, and is incredibly set for life. The Padres are taking some risk, but have arguably the best building block in baseball locked in for more than a decade.

Two things:
1) Who would you rather have, at this moment: Tatis, entering his age 22 season, locked into his age 22-35 seasons for 14/$320m; or Mike Trout, who is locked in for his age 29-38 seasons at 10 years/$371m?
2) Anything is possible, obviously, but Tatis has now played about a full season, if you combine his age 20 and 21 seasons. It's not quite as good with the bat as Trout at those ages, but it is historically rarified air he is in right now. I mean, who in history as been this good this young and didn't end up having an excellent career (as an everyday player, not a pitcher)? Cesar Cedeno (who had a good career, but obviously didn't live up to his early-20s numbers)? Pete Reiser (who missed his age 23 to 25 seasons serving in WWII, and also suffered injuries)?

The list of players who were this good at age 20 or 21 is extremely short,and a few of the names you might compare to Tatis so far were actually not as good by any objective measure. Tony Conigliaro was pretty awesome at ages 19-21 (really, up until he got hit in the eye with a pitch)...but he was never as good as Tatis has already been. Vern Stephens and Vada Pinson come up as highly successful at a really young age, and they were good...but they didn't put up numbers nearly as good as Tatis has thus far.

It really is like, ARod, Griffey, Mantle, Trout...only a few players have been this good, this young. And then you add that he plays SS (at least, for now), so he has plenty of room to move on the defensive spectrum. I think San Diego was smart to get this deal done.
   30. reech Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:33 AM (#6005640)
How are these enormous contracts backed up - as far a health insurance- if Tatis is injured permanently and can't play, how protected is the team?
   31. Adam Starblind Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6005643)
Any sort of analysis needs to account for the fact that the Padres could have gone year to year with him for the next four years. So how good this contract is depends on how he produces after 2024. The bet the Padres are making is that he'll be good enough over the next four years that he would get even more money if they signed him then and that he'll be good enough over the following ten years to justify what they'll pay him.


According to Heyman, Tatis will get $34M over his next 4 years and $306M over his 10 free agent years for $340M.

He’ll get a $10M signing bonus w/salaries of $1M $5M $7M and $11M in 1st 4 years. If he continues performing at his current level, $34 million seems like a good ballpark of what he'd make in arbitration (maybe on the low side), and $306MM is a fair estimate of what a 26 year old Tatis would get on the free agent market (again, maybe on the low side). I guess this reflects the Padres taking on some risk that he turns into Gary Templeton (he won't) or Nomar Garciaparra (within the realm of possibility).
   32. Adam Starblind Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6005645)
It really is like, ARod, Griffey, Mantle, Trout...only a few players have been this good, this young.


Juan Soto.
   33. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6005646)
"it's wonderkid" in a legitimate newspaper? What ever happened to copyediting?


Not a word I've heretofore encountered, but it shows up in at least a couple of actual dictionaries online, & ... uh ... yeah. Presumably it's code for "I'm too stupid to know the term wunderkind."
   34. TomH Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6005648)
Best comp I can come up with for young-this-good and reasonable career path is Eddie Mathews.
   35. McCoy Posted: February 18, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6005649)
I'd much rather have him for the next 4 years , try to lock up a 5th and 6th year and then let him go.
   36. Ron J Posted: February 18, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6005654)
#30 I know the reinsurance market largely collapsed a while back. I'm not aware that it's been reconstructed, so as best as I can tell the Pares are at pretty substantial risk.

From what I can gather you can find people willing to assume a few million dollars of the risk, but a number of major players went bust and after that people weren't too eager to take up the slack.
   37. bunyon Posted: February 18, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6005682)
This is both really cool, really exciting and probably a bad deal for the Padres.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: February 18, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6005683)
Andruw Jones?
   39. Stevey Posted: February 18, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6005690)

The Marlins were very committed when they signed Stanton long term.


If we looked at the structure of the contract, we maybe could have seen they actually weren't. The Marlins gave him $6.5M and $9M in arb years, and then $14.5M in his first free agent year before the salaries jumped to $25M+ per year. The Marlins traded him right before the $25M per year kicked in.

And this wasn't the first time the Marlins pulled something like this off. They signed Mark Buerhle to a 4/$58M deal that paid him only $6M in year one, Jose Reyes to a 6/$102M deal that only paid $10M in year one, and Carlos Delgado to a 4/$52M deal that paid $4M in year one, only to move after just one year.
   40. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: February 18, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6005691)
This is both really cool, really exciting and probably a bad deal for the Padres.
Yeah, this deal has a strong YOLO vibe. Still, barring significant injury it shouldn’t be too big of an issue for the team. I am curious to see if the Padres are willing to run $150M+ payrolls for the foreseeable future or if this a two year thing.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6005693)

It really is like, ARod, Griffey, Mantle, Trout...only a few players have been this good, this young.


Best OPS, through age 21 (min. 500 PA):

Ted Williams 1.041
Jimmie Foxx 1.015
Albert Pujols 1.013
Mel Ott .986
Hal Trosky .976
Juan Soto .972
Fernando Tatis, Jr. 956
Mike Trout .948
Cody Bellinger .933
Joe DiMaggio .928

The first "bust" on the list is Bob Horner at #19 at .879, then Stanton depending on whether you think he's a bust.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6005695)
Lindor will make about $50 million during his 6 years of team control, so I would assume the ballpark for Tatis is $50-60 million? So that’s what the next 4 years would have cost the Padres if Tatis continues to perform and the team didn’t sign him to a long-term deal.

So basically they are giving him another $280-290 million in exchange for locking up years 5-14. They are also basically taking on 4 years of performance/injury risk that he would have borne if they had waited until he hit free agency to try to sign him.

$280-290 million per year is a discount relative to what he might sign for in 4 years assuming that he keeps his performance level up. (Machado signed for $300/10 years and Tatis is arguably better). So it seems like a reasonable deal from that standpoint. At $8M/WAR, Tatis needs to generate ~36 WAR in years 5-14 to make this deal work, a bit more than that (maybe 45? I don’t know) if you want to price in the addition risk that the Padres are taking on by signing the deal today rather than waiting a few years. Not a crazy number but not a given, either. Which I guess is what deals like this should be.

If you think the “market price” of a win is less than $8M then it’s a bit of a tougher sell.
   43. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6005696)
Tatis will have to give some of his earnings to investors.

It was then that Tatis entered into a contract with Big League Advance (BLA), a company that offers select minor leaguers upfront payments in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings in Major League Baseball. Neither Tatis nor BLA has revealed the exact percentage he owes the company.

The company’s president and CEO, former major-league pitcher Michael Schwimer, told The Athletic in April 2018 that BLA uses a proprietary algorithm to value every player in the minors. Players who receive offers can accept a base-level payout in return for 1 percent of their earnings, with the chance to receive greater incremental payouts and pay back a maximum of 10 percent. If a player never reaches the majors, he keeps the cash advance, with no obligation to pay it back.
   44. TomH Posted: February 18, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6005698)
from BBREF
Similar Batters through 21
Vern Stephens (896.5)
Carlos Correa (881.2)
Garry Templeton (870.9)
Mike Caruso (866.0)
Jim Fregosi (864.7)
Alex Rodriguez (862.1)
Starlin Castro (859.8)
Arky Vaughan (854.2)
Dick Bartell (853.8)
Bob Horner (848.2)
   45. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 18, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6005699)
The first "bust" on the list is Bob Horner at #19 at .879, then Stanton depending on whether you think he's a bust.


Well, a 14 year deal for Hal Trosky would have been a disaster. Though in that case he fought in WWII, which basically ended his career (he came back after the war, but was nowhere near the player he was). The 5.7 WAR that Trosky put up at age 21 was the highest of his career, but he did put up better rate stats in 1939.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2021 at 04:42 PM (#6005700)
#41: Trosky would not be a good outcome at this money although that's partly War-related plus he was never as good as Tatis. Bellinger has been inconsistent as a hitter and nearly half his career WAR was that one awesome season so jury out.

But even Trosky wouldn't be a disaster. He had 25 WAR left. If Tatis could replicate that offense at SS we're probably around 35 WAR. Heading off to war in 2028 won"t be fun.
   47. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: February 18, 2021 at 04:59 PM (#6005702)
Occasionally it occurs to me, out of nowhere, that the Padres acquired Tatis in a trade for James Shields, and I have to stop for a second to consider that.
   48. bfan Posted: February 18, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6005708)
#47. Interesting and I am guessing that, although just 17 at the time, Tatis wasn’t all that when the trade went down, or they would not have done that.

This reminds me that Ronald Acura and Albies were not the big deal international signees when they were first put under contract either. I think they got Acura for $100,000, which doesn’t seem among the higher international bonuses they typically pay.

Kevin Maitain was the next Miggy and the prize signee his year. He is still eating his way through the minor leagues.

Was Juan Soto the big deal signing his year?

We spend so much time anguishing over draft choices and successes in the MLB draft. Does anyone ever look at how good or bad we are at identifying the future stars on the international front?
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6005709)
We spend so much time anguishing over draft choices and successes in the MLB draft. Does anyone ever look at how good or bad we are at identifying the future stars on the international front?

Since you're picking guys at 16 rather than 18-22, it has to be a lot more random.
   50. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 18, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6005710)
I don't know what algorithm BRef uses for similar but having clicked 1 and 3, the both put up an OPS+ of 115 in their age 21 years; Tatis's was 155, or about 35 percent better.
If Tatis remains this good, he'll be making AAV in arb his last couple years. Sure, any long contract is a risk, but I like the deal and the fact that it only takes him through 36.
   51. McCoy Posted: February 18, 2021 at 05:53 PM (#6005711)
Re 39. The Tatis deal is also structured to go up greatly after his arb years are over. It's very unlikely he stays with the Padres unless he flops.

The Cubs under Theo also structured contracts so they paid very little in year 1 and sometimes year 2. See Lester and several others from the middle of the last decade.
   52. bfan Posted: February 18, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6005713)
#49

Well, they say they are 16...
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6005714)
Well, they say they are 16...

That would make it even more unpredictable!
   54. Stevey Posted: February 18, 2021 at 08:09 PM (#6005728)
43 - That Tatis went for such an arrangement seems incredibly, incredibly odd to me. I get it if you grow up poor, but Tatis almost certainly didn't, and even if he did, he received a $700,000 signing bonus just a couple years before supposedly signing with BLA. He also was about to become (if not already during the 2017 season) a top 10 prospect after a fantastic year at 18. There's always some risk, and maybe he got a ton of cash upfront for a very small percentage of future earnings, but, at that point, I'm not sure there was anyone who was a worse candidate to take such a deal.
   55. McCoy Posted: February 18, 2021 at 08:23 PM (#6005730)
Would not be shocked to learn his dad and he did not handle their money well.
   56. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 08:25 PM (#6005731)

Re 39. The Tatis deal is also structured to go up greatly after his arb years are over. It's very unlikely he stays with the Padres unless he flops.


FWIW, he has a full no-trade clause. Those can always be waived though.


Occasionally it occurs to me, out of nowhere, that the Padres acquired Tatis in a trade for James Shields, and I have to stop for a second to consider that.


James Shields was traded for two players on the Padres who have a combined $400M in contracts (Wil Myers being the other).

That Tatis/Shields trade was panned, not only because the Padres were clearly looking to dump Shields' salary, but because of Tatis. While no one thought this was the most likely result, people did think he had a high ceiling.
   57. AstrosOldTimer Posted: February 18, 2021 at 08:35 PM (#6005732)
I haven't posted here in years and I just logged in to say this has a real chance to go down as one of the stupidest contract signings in history.

Signing a 22-year-old player to a record 14-year deal seems like an insane risk... "irrational exuberance" comes to mind.

I mean, I do hope it turns out well but Tatis could spend the next 3-5 years looking like the next Willie Mays and then suddenly have an unexpected downturn and ending up being the next Cesar Cedeno.
   58. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:11 PM (#6005735)
the next Cesar Cedeno


Cedeno put up 52 War over his career. Pinson, the other poster child for brilliant starts/fade early, put up 54 WAR. Though not overly satisfying, those totals would make the contract worthwhile.

95% of the players on those lists where the player is super young and has stats whereby they are in the same conversation as Trout, Williams, Ott, etc, turn out to be great players. These are precisely the type of players you give these contracts to if you are a team that hands these out.

Now you may think the idea of the 10/320 contract is a dumb one, and I can see that, but for SD I think it's a great move and shows they are willing to try to compete with the Dodger blue wave that seems to continue to roll on.
   59. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6005741)
Cedeno put up 17.7 WAR from age 26 onward. Pinson 19.3. Neither had a season above 2.4 WAR after age 29. Both of those would be pretty bad outcomes for this contract considering that the Padres already have Tatis under team control through age 26.
   60. Ron J Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:06 PM (#6005747)
Just looked at his age 21 comp list. While they aren't remotely comparable, it's interesting that the list includes Mike Caruso, Garry Templeton and Starlin Castro.

It also includes ARod and Arky Vaughan.

EDIT: coke to 44. Read more carefully Ron
   61. Ron J Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6005749)
#50 It's based partially on counting stats and doesn't adjust for context. We could certainly do better these days.

Many of the projection sysytems in fact do something conceptually similar to similarity scores. I suspect Szym would not find (say) Mike Caruso of any value in projecting Tatis.
   62. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:52 PM (#6005753)
Occasionally it occurs to me, out of nowhere, that the Padres acquired Tatis in a trade for James Shields, and I have to stop for a second to consider that.


And Shields went 4-12 with a 6.77 ERA after the trade, and was almost as bad for two more years after that, and the White Sox didn't come close to winning anything. The Padres paid most of his salary during that time but the Sox still had to pay him about $25 million for that performance, then another $2 million to buy out his contract. Hey, it's only money!
   63. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2021 at 10:57 PM (#6005756)
Analysis from Ben Clemens and Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs:

Players who hit the majors at a young age tend to improve in their first few years, but not like this: his 10th-percentile forecast for 2021 is higher than his median forecast in 2020. He simply improved so many things that he already looks like one of the best players in the game, and he’s still only 22.

And ZiPS projects Tatis to remain near the top of the game for years to come:

That’s nine consecutive years of projections above 5 WAR, and it’s actually more absurd than that. Take a look at the numbers, and you’ll notice he never projects for even 500 at-bats. If you think he’ll get to 550 on average, that’s an extra 1.5 WAR per year. I’m not saying 550 is a reasonable assumption — he’s yet to play a full season, and everyone gets hurt once in a while — but the point is that the rate of production ZiPS forecasts is Trout-ian.


The projected OPS+ numbers for mid-20s Tatis are staggering. The last shortstop to approach that level of consistent production was A-Rod. The last one before that? Literally Honus Wagner. You could make arguments for young Nomar Garciaparra or Rogers Hornsby when he moonlighted at short, but the fact that I have to reach back before integration for similar levels of production should tell you how ridiculous he is.
   64. AstrosOldTimer Posted: February 18, 2021 at 11:50 PM (#6005763)
Once again, it's just an incredible risk. Dickie Thon also comes to mind.

14 years is a long long contract.
   65. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 19, 2021 at 12:00 AM (#6005766)
14 years is from Please Please Me to Nevermind the Bollocks....

A lot can happen.
   66. McCoy Posted: February 19, 2021 at 07:34 AM (#6005770)
Tatis hasn't even played a full season's worth of games. Small samples and all caveats.
   67. Paul d mobile Posted: February 19, 2021 at 09:14 AM (#6005779)
Effectively Wild today mentioned that Tatis is one of the guys who got an advance from a company while he was in the minors, in exchange for a cut of his future major league earnings.
   68. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 19, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#6005793)
#64-65 I wouldn’t focus on the 14 years because he certainly doesn’t need to produce for 14 years in order for this to be a good contract. Whether this is a good or bad contract will most likely be decided between years 5-10. If he stays relatively healthy and produces during those years, the deal will be fine and anything they get in years 11-14 will just be gravy.

#66 Tatis hit well and was a highly ranked prospect in the minors, too. It’s not like he just came up and had a great 140 games out of nowhere.

But like any player, he could have an early decline. He also hasn’t been particularly durable during his time in the majors so far (hamstring and back injuries). He can miss some time and this contract will still look fine, but if he suffers a longer term, lingering injury that affects his performance or ability to take the field, that would be bad.

But like I said earlier, I don’t think it’s a bad contract. I think they probably just signed it a year or two early.
   69. Stevey Posted: February 19, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6005807)
I think they probably just signed it a year or two early.


In a year or two, Tatis probably doesn't a 14/$340M deal. Maybe a 12/$330M or $14/$400 though.
   70. McCoy Posted: February 19, 2021 at 11:59 AM (#6005810)
Troy Tulowitzki
   71. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 19, 2021 at 01:09 PM (#6005838)
Yes, I would rather sign him to 12/330 in two years than 14/340 today.
   72. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: February 19, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6005841)
In a year or two, Tatis probably doesn't a 14/$340M deal. Maybe a 12/$330M or $14/$400 though.
There is a huge variance in outcomes because, as McCoy noted, the current sample is so small (and a bit mixed).
   73. Stevey Posted: February 19, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6005871)
Yes, I would rather sign him to 12/330 in two years than 14/340 today.


Actually probably more than 330, as I was estimating with two arb years knocked off instead of just one.


Sure, these are still ballplayers and a lot can happen. But ZiPS, which knows a thing or two about how players decline, thinks he's easily worth it. Taking the 50th percentile projection of 11 WAR over the next two years, you don't get a deal near as good as 14/$340 for him in two years.
   74. McCoy Posted: February 19, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6005878)
Because you lose two arb years and you're paying for two old age free agent seasons.
   75. McCoy Posted: February 19, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6005879)
I would have tried to have signed him to a 6 year deal and let him walk after it.
   76. Stevey Posted: February 19, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6005886)
Because you lose two arb years and you're paying for two old age free agent seasons.


Because you gave up some of the risk that he might flame out, and now that he's closer to free agency, he has less incentive to have his arb years bought it.

Of course every team would love to say "I would like the same deal but just with less risk on my end". But that's not things work. The same deal isn't available in two years.
   77. McCoy Posted: February 19, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6005888)
Yes that's my point.
   78. Stevey Posted: February 19, 2021 at 05:08 PM (#6005906)
I'm referring to something completely different than simply switching which years he's signed for.
   79. McCoy Posted: February 19, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6005907)
Yes, you're talking about losing two cheap years and replacing them with two expensive years.
   80. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2021 at 10:54 PM (#6005949)
Thon: Didn't become a full-timer until 24 and had a 108 OPS+ thru 25. That is not Tatis to date.

Tulo is closer but didn't really hit until 24. Over the ages covered by this contract, he put up 45 WAR.

Fregosi is a reasonable comp who got hurt at 29 ... 44 WAR. Nomar didn't get started until 23 ... 44 WAR. Pinson 22-35: 42 WAR. Cedeno 41 WAR. As scary tales go, 40-45 WAR for $340M is weak sauce.

It's certainly fair to question whether they could have gotten something like 8/$200 (or whatever) that would still make him FA by 30 but nobody's too concerced about what happens if he goes off a cliff at 30.
   81. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: February 19, 2021 at 11:05 PM (#6005954)
With this much scratch on the line, for that many years, I'd be worried about what would happen if he actually and literally got hit by a bus.

Frank Thomas had a "diminished skills" clause in his contract. I wonder if anyone has ever had a clause that puts the risk of catastrophic injury on the player? Hard to define "catastrophic" of course, but you'd think Roy Campanella would count, and I'd trust the ingenuity of lawyers (or arbitrators) to hand cases short of that.
   82. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 06:36 AM (#6005968)
Taking the 50th percentile projection of 11 WAR over the next two years, you don't get a deal near as good as 14/$340 for him in two years.

I’d rather wait two years and sign him for 12/$350 than sign him for 14/$340 today (assuming he performs). Maybe I’m just stupidly risk averse but that extra 2 years at the back end aren’t worth much while getting to wait 2 years before making a $300+ million commitment has a lot of value.
   83. Stevey Posted: February 20, 2021 at 07:55 AM (#6005971)
Yes, you're talking about losing two cheap years and replacing them with two expensive years.


Again, I'm not, but maybe I havent communicated my point well.


I’d rather wait two years and sign him for 12/$350 than sign him for 14/$340 today (assuming he performs). Maybe I’m just stupidly risk averse but that extra 2 years at the back end aren’t worth much while getting to wait 2 years before making a $300+ million commitment has a lot of value.


Ok, maybe I have. And, fair enough Dave. But youre not getting an extra two years on the back end with a 12 year deal in two years versus a 14 year deal now. Youre simply just paying more for not taking on the risk sooner.
   84. McCoy Posted: February 20, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#6005974)
He's basically saying the same thing as me. Of course you're not going to get 14/340 in 2 years if Tatis performs because you no longer are buying out 2 cheap years.
   85. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 20, 2021 at 01:32 PM (#6005994)
As a 21 year old shortstop, he led the MLB in exit velocity and barrels in 2020. This wasn't a guy hitting a lucky .300.

I think this deal is a steal for the Padres.
   86. sunday silence (again) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#6005998)
Just to play Devils Advocate to put a question to McCoy and Dave. Isnt the bigger risk that he doesnt sign during his arbitration years then hits the free market? What's the cost benefit analysis of that?

With the caveat that I dont study the economics of baseball or how free agency works. Just explain like Im 5.
   87. McCoy Posted: February 20, 2021 at 02:23 PM (#6006000)
I'm fine with him walking after his arb years if they can't get him to sign an extension. There's no reason to sign a ballplayer to 14 years.
   88. Ron J Posted: February 20, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6006017)
#86 Well here's the thing. If he develops (or to be more precise, establishes that the lower bounds is what he's shown so far) and stays healthy, you lose years of a historic talent at an affordable rate.

But: The team that signs him is unlikely to get a bargain. Free agents as a group are overpaid a fair amount if one looks at their contribution to marginal revenue. However it is worth noting that the worst signings as a group are second tier players (because if they slip they become expensive dead weight). And if Tatis is walking to get a mega contract he doesn't qualify as second tier.

In the end it's a calculated risk. If he stays reasonably healthy and takes reasonable care of himself (Eddie Mathews and Andruw Jones are two obvious cautionary tales here) they rate to be very pleased that they signed the deal. There is some chance that his career to date is not a true level of talent, but it's pretty rare for a player to hit this well and be way over his head.

EDIT: Or to put that last point another way, a 155 OPS+ is not in itself of signature significance. See Jim Hickman. 155 OPS+ by a 21 year old SS though? Damned few have played that well that young. The comps start with Arky Vaughan and ARod.

   89. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#6006019)
In his column contending the Nationals should offer Juan Soto an extension similar to Tatis, Tom Boswell pegs the present value of Tatis’ contract at ‘only’ $232.9M:
First, with the caveat that all sports money is crazy, $340 million spread over 14 years isn’t nearly as much money as it seems. The “present value” of Tatis’s $340 million, made in equal payments over 14 years, is “merely” about $232.9 million — or $16.6 million a year.
If the Padres (and many others) are right about Tatis, they benefit from the contract, and continue to reap the residual value of their association even after Tatis is done playing. Worth the risk, IMHO.
   90. Stevey Posted: February 20, 2021 at 04:35 PM (#6006022)
He's basically saying the same thing as me. Of course you're not going to get 14/340 in 2 years if Tatis performs because you no longer are buying out 2 cheap years.



I'm not sure how many times I'll need to say it, I'm not referring to exactly which years he gets, but the change in risk you are going to take on by signing him now versus getting more data points on his ability.

I’d rather wait two years and sign him for 12/$350 than sign him for 14/$340 today


Plus an arb year coming in the first two and, in this hypothetical, you're likely looking at having to pay $360M to get him over those 14 years rather than $340M. That extra $20M is the cost of reducing your risk.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6006028)
If the Padres (and many others) are right about Tatis, they benefit from the contract, and continue to reap the residual value of their association even after Tatis is done playing. Worth the risk, IMHO.

I agree. If Tatis and Machado star on the left-side of that infield for 10 years and lead them to a few pennants and a Championships it's a franchise redefining deal. As the only team in SD, the Padres have the chance to own the city if they can slay the Dodger monster.
   92. McCoy Posted: February 20, 2021 at 06:31 PM (#6006036)
Re 90. And I'm not sure how many times I have to tell you that the contract gets more expensive because you are no longer paying a player for his cheap years.
   93. sunday silence (again) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6006037)
What about Tatis's ability to play SS. I know he's young so I dont want to debate what UZR or whatever is saying; but I mean in terms of his raw ability: arm, range, instincts etc. Does he have the skills to develop into a good Ss and play there for a long time?
   94. sunday silence (again) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6006038)
What about the long term prognosis on our economy? What little I am reading suggests there's going to be a long period of inflation once we get past the Coronavirus situation. If so that would really be a plus for SD.
   95. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6006051)
Seen elsewhere: “When the Tatis contract ends, the Mets will still have one year left to pay Bobby Bonilla.”
   96. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 22, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6006223)
Tatis deal formally announced today, and it’s rather backloaded:
Tatis will make $1MM in 2021, $5MM in 2022, $7MM in 2023, $11MM in 2024, $20MM apiece in 2025 and 2026, $25MM in 2027 and 2028, and then $36MM yearly from 2029 through 2034
That reduces the present value of the contract even further. Still seems like a fair deal for both sides, though not without some risk for team & player.
   97. McCoy Posted: February 22, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6006224)
Definitely won't be a Padre through the end of the contract.
   98. bunyon Posted: February 22, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6006231)
Clapper, the risk to Tatis is, what? That he leaves 100 million on the table? I mean, sure. But I'd take that risk if it meant I had 340 million.

The risk to the Padres is far more substantial. I still love the deal for all involved and hope McCoy is wrong about where Tatis plays those 36 million dollar years.
   99. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 22, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6006236)
Clapper, the risk to Tatis is, what? That he leaves 100 million on the table? I mean, sure. But I'd take that risk if it meant I had 340 million.
A few years of Jimmy Carter era inflation, or worse, would make the value of those 2029-34 payments a lot smaller. Even ‘normal’ inflation makes the contract look less one-sided than the total value may have initially suggested. It’s a reasonable risk for Tatis to take, just as the Padres assuming the risk that he’s hit by a bus.
   100. McCoy Posted: February 22, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6006238)
I'm pretty sure you aren't going to want your favorite team paying Tatis 36 million a year.
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