The major signing in Major League Baseball this week was not a player who changed teams. Rather, it was a player who signed a long-term contract extension. On Wednesday, the San Diego Padres signed shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic to a whopping 14-year deal worth $340 million, You know when you make headlines in the Wall Street Jounal, the signing becomes major.
We know that Tatis is an offensive force, and has the potential to be a superstar. But one must also question one more thing. Did the Padres commit to Tatis too soon?
The bottom line is the sample size for which Padres management has analyzed their phenom’s greatness may not be large enough. Yes, Tatis Jr. has shown greatness after two Major League seasons. However, he has only played in 143 games to date. That is 19 games fewer than a full Major League season.
We also need to wonder about Tatis Jr.’s overall health. Already, he has had back issues, which forced him to miss the last six weeks of the 2019 Major League Baseball season. Two of the greatest hockey players all-time in Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders, and Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins, also had back problems in their career, which prevented them from living up to their potential. It is not good that Tatis Jr. already had back problems at the age of 20.
The Padres are definitely going to be a threat in the National League for years to come, and Tatis Jr. is the cornerstone. The Padres made a commitment in the offseason to improving their pitching by signing starters Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays, and Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs. They also have loads of offensive skill, which includes Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, and Wil Myers. But is this enough for the Padres to dethrone the World Series champs Los Angeles Dodgers? Time will tell.