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Friday, October 16, 2020

Padres will look into Fernando Tatis Jr. extension this offseason; what will it take to sign him long-term?

Not surprisingly, Padres GM A.J. Preller confirmed the team is interested in signing Tatis to a long-term contract on Wednesday. He added the interest appears to be mutual. Here’s what Preller told reporters, including MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell:

“It was just such a short season and such a sprint to the finish line that I don’t think there was a lot in the middle of all of that for trying to put a contract negotiation in there,” Preller said. “We’ll start to look more seriously at that here this offseason, and it sounds like there’s interest on both sides, so we’ll see where that goes.”

Refreshingly, the Padres did not manipulate Tatis’ service time last season. Tatis was on the Opening Day roster, so he is under team control another four years. He will make something near the league minimum salary as a pre-arbitration-eligible player in 2021 before going through arbitration each year from 2022-24. Tatis will not qualify for free agency until the 2024-25 offseason.

The natural benchmark for a Tatis extension is Ronald Acuna Jr.‘s eight-year, $100 million contract with the Braves. They are two of the game’s brightest young stars, so the contract comparison fits. There is one small problem though: Acuna signed his contract after his first MLB season. Tatis has played two years and is closer to arbitration and free agency. That gives him more leverage.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:09 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fernando tatis, jr., padres

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   1. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:22 AM (#5983313)
The natural benchmark for a Tatis extension is Ronald Acuna Jr.‘s eight-year, $100 million contract with the Braves. They are two of the game’s brightest young stars, so the contract comparison fits. There is one small problem though: Acuna signed his contract after his first MLB season. Tatis has played two years and is closer to arbitration and free agency. That gives him more leverage.

The Braves got an incredible deal and Tatis would be unwise to take that contract even if he didn't have more leverage.

Tatis' father made over 17 million dollars so it is likely that Junior's family is comfortable. There's less impetus to sign a big deal now.
   2. Rally Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:24 AM (#5983315)
Would not think Tatis has the same motivation to seek financial security as Acuna. Acuna's dad was a professional ballplayer but never made the big leagues. Tatis Sr. made 17.8 million in the big leagues. Not a super level of wealth considering taxes and that his last MLB paycheck was 10 years ago, but it's very likely the Tatis family has less of a need for financial security than the Acuna family, and so is free to seek full market value instead of signing at a discount.
   3. Rally Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:25 AM (#5983316)
And I owe you a coke
   4. Walt Davis Posted: October 16, 2020 at 07:00 PM (#5983415)
Some comps and what they made in their arb years:

Lindor: $28 plus $20-25 in 2021
Correa: just $13 with one to go
Seager: $11 with one to go
Mookie: $57
Springer: $45 (or $48 as a super-2)
Machado: $32
Arenado: $33 (in his first 3 super-2 yars)

So with no extension and a good year next year, he's looking at at least $35 (Machado/Arenado) and more likely $45 (Springer/Lindor) and possibly Bryant/Mookie level. (Yes, Bryant de-railed himself from the super-mega-money track but he was on it.) Of course the purpose of the buyout is to trade some of the super money for security. It seems to me these are usually structured in a way where they make something close to full money for the arb years but give a deal on the FA years covered.

Anyway, that Acuna type deal is probably still in play although they'll proably have to go a bit above that. But X/10/15/20/25/25, where X is like $2 M ... and there will be a signing bonus but that will get "deducted" from the subsequent salaries. That's $45 M across his arb years, $50 M for his first 2 FA years and a tip. Even pre-covid, hard to see it going much above that ... maybe $110. The question is whether they'll get options -- Acuna really needed to price his options higher.

The Acuna deal is very likely to work out quite nicely for the Braves but they did guarantee him $54 M over his super-2 years which as you can see above is not a "bargain" by arb standards.** They start raking it back in with the 2/$34 for the first 2 FA years, a $17 ($10 buyout) option on year 3 and yet anothher $17 option on year 4. They could easily be saving $15+ M per year over those 4 FA years. Assuming he stays as good as he's been, they'll likely use that leverage to extend him another 5-8 years after that.

** It could work out to be one in the sense that, unsigned, he would probably break Bryant's 1st year super-2 record and possibly be on something like a $12/18/24/30 track ($84 M) but, at the time they signed him, they were basically signing him to arb salaries in line with being among the very, very best of the arb players.
   5. smileyy Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:49 PM (#5983993)
"look into" lulz

I mean, what's the floor for Tatis? FFS, he put up 4 WAR in half a 20-year-old season
   6. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 20, 2020 at 08:30 AM (#5983997)
Tatis is a different case because of the wealth he already has courtesy of dad. However if I'm in his shoes I'm pretty willing to sign a deal right now. Right now he's on track to be an FA entering his age 26 season. He could take the comparative security of letting the Padres buy out a couple of years of that and still be looking at free agency as a 28 or 29 year old which would have him in line for a massive payout. For me the guys who make a mistake in taking the early buyout are the ones who delay free agency until their early 30s.

One thing I think that would make such a deal appealing to me if I were him is the labor uncertainty. If I could get the Padres to include a substantial signing bonus that would cover me if 2022 and/or portions of 2021 or 2023 are lost to work stoppages that would be a positive. As has been noted his dad being who he is makes Tatis a bit different.
   7. Ron J Posted: October 20, 2020 at 09:03 AM (#5984000)
#6 (and others) He's in an interesting case in that the money that we're talking about takes him well beyond set for life and into nothing more than abstraction -- kind of an accounting fiction.

I mean sure, get what you're entitled to. Never know if the urge to start your own Formula One team (or other money pits) will arise. But I see the same logic as you do for a relatively conservative course.

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