Locking up young stars to lengthy extensions has been the new big thing in baseball in recent years. Teams lock up extremely talented young players for longer while assuming some risk if they don’t pan out and the players get some income certainty but could potentially be leaving money of the table especially at the rate that arbitration raises are going.
Scott Kingery is as example of a guy that got paid early on in his career and it has thus far not worked out at all for the Phillies. Jon Singleton inked an eight figure deal before he made his debut and he bombed out of the league. These are the obvious risks.
However, there are cases like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies with the Braves who are both producing at high rates for Atlanta and are cost-controlled which is great for the club. Whether their deals were in their personal best interests is open for debate, but they are at least guaranteed a very healthy income regardless of how the next few years go. Other prospects on other clubs have done similar lucrative, but ultimately fairly team-friendly deals in recent years as well.
What we hadn’t really had was a giant mega-extension of a young player because, well, those long term deals deep into nine figures just aren’t given out much at all anymore...let alone to guys without much track record.
Until now that is.
Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres are in agreement on a 14-year, $340 million contract extension, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 18, 2021
It is a bit unclear why San Diego felt compelled to make this sort of move as this looks more like the deal you would give Tatis Jr. if he had just hit free agency. Sure, give him a raise given his insane production if you feel the need, but to throw this kind of money at him especially given the fact that he is still a young guy is a bit odd. That said, its the Padres’ money and it does guarantee that he will be around for a long time.
As for Tatis Jr., this is a no brainer deal. Not only is his income guaranteed, but he instantly becomes one of the highest compensated players in the league. His contract combined with the marketing dollars he is raking in has made him a very wealthy man in a hurry.