The Padres Truly Commit to Fernando Tatis Jr.

The Padres Truly Commit to Fernando Tatis Jr.

- in Baseball

Tatis gives the Padres a cornerstone for the long haul. His deal — negotiated by Machado’s agency, MVP Sports — includes a no-trade clause but no opt-outs. It covers four years of club control, and then adds a little more than $300 million for his first decade of free-agent eligibility. Tatis will be 35 when the deal ends.

“He is certainly his own person, but he reminds me a lot, when he’s on the field, of my time around Adrian Beltre,” said Tingler, a former coach for the Texas Rangers. “Adrian enjoyed the game, he enjoyed his teammates, and even though he was serious and competitive, he had the ability to smile, laugh, goof around, have fun and then lock it in when it came time to compete.”

Beltre won a Silver Slugger Award at age 35, going on to collect more than 3,000 hits and five Gold Gloves at third base. All-around players on that side of the infield often age well — George Brett, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Schmidt and Alan Trammell were All-Stars by age 24 and still going strong by 35.

Of course, some players in that class were all but finished by 35, like Nomar Garciaparra, Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki and David Wright. There is significant risk in this deal for the Padres, but maybe greater risk in not making it. Baseball is better when teams try.

And if the Padres ever decide to shed Tatis and his record contract, history shows where they can turn. The Dodgers gave Kevin Brown baseball’s first $100 million contract in 1998, the Texas Rangers gave Rodriguez baseball’s first $200 million contract in 2000 and the Miami Marlins gave Giancarlo Stanton baseball’s first $300 million contract in 2014. Before each of those deals was finished, the player was traded to the Yankees.

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