SAN DIEGO – Fernando Tatis Jr. has yet to take a ground ball or swing a bat at spring training and he’s already the talk of the San Diego Padres’ clubhouse.
The electrifying shortstop and the Padres agreed Wednesday to a $340 million, 14-year deal, according to two people familiar with the situation, giving San Diego’s camp even more buzz than it already had after the team made a number of high-profile offseason moves.
“There’s great excitement around here,” manager Jayce Tingler said on a videoconference Thursday from Peoria, Arizona.
“Holy smokes, that’s a lot of money,” newly signed reliever Mark Melancon said. “Just playing across from him, his energy is awesome. You can see how it energizes the team. From everything I’ve heard, he’s a great guy, he’s got his head on his shoulders. That’s why the front office has stepped up and come to terms with him.”
The two people confirmed details to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced.
It will be the longest contract signed in MLB history. Giancarlo Stanton, now with the New York Yankees, signed a 13-year, $325 million deal with Miami in 2015. Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with Philadelphia in 2019. The biggest deal by dollars remains Mike Trout’s $426.5 million, 12-year contract signed with the Angels in 2019. Tatis’ deal will be the third-largest.
Tatis began the intake process Thursday. It will take 24 to 48 hours before he's cleared and can enter the complex, and then he must take his physical.
Tingler couldn’t talk about the contract, but had plenty to say about Tatis, who at 22 has quickly become one of the faces of MLB.