In a recent article by Bleacher Report, MLB writer Martin Fenn discuss 15 early predictions for this coming offseason, and he has one notable foresight when it comes to the Padres.
Fenn is putting it out there that he believes the Friars will ink phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. to an extension and secure him for the foreseeable future before he even hits his third season in the major leagues.
While Fenn knows this sounds awfully unlikely, he has reason to believe it’s still fairly plausible.
“The Atlanta Braves inked Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies to long-term, team-friendly deals that have essentially secured their future. The Chicago White Sox took a similar approach by buying out both Eloy Jimenez’s and Luis Robert’s arbitration years.”
“The San Diego Padres will likely at least broach the idea of an extension with star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. In fact, Friars general manager A.J. Preller recently suggested as much, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.”
Tatis finished his sophomore season with 17 home runs, 11 steals, and an OPS of .937. His batting average of .277 looks underwhelming, but that was after a forgettable September where he hit .208. Despite the rough month, Tatis finished fourth in fWAR in 2020 and landed in the 99th percentile in outs above average, according to Baseball Savant.
In addition, Tatis posted a 1.662 OPS in the Wild Card Round before struggling against a tough Dodgers pitching staff in the NLDS.
Tatis has already achieved full superstar status. He is one of the most exciting and marketable talents in the game, a true cornerstone any organization would be glad to build around.
The Padres will push hard for an extension, and Tatis might prefer to get long-term security heading into the third year of his big-league career.
At a time where everything in the world seems uncertain, Fenn isn’t wrong to think Tatis may want to secure his future earlier than most. If it means keeping one of the most-electric players in the majors with a team that seems to be strongly trending in the right direction, than I’m 100% for it.