Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr. signal 14-year ‘statue contract’ | Sports activities
FILE – In this file photo dated October 1, 2020, Fernando Tatis Jr. of San Diego Padres throws his bat after hitting a two-piece home run during the seventh inning of Game 2 of the team’s National League Wildcard Baseball Series St. Louis Cardinals in San Diego. Tatis Jr. hasn’t picked up a floor ball or swung a bat in spring practice, and he’s already talking about the Padres’ clubhouse. The electrifying shortstop and the Padres have agreed on a 14-year $ 340 million deal that has made the San Diego camp even more buzzing than it did after the team embarked on a series of high-profile offseason moves.
Sports journalist by BERNIE WILSON AP
SAN DIEGO (AP) – In discussing options for a long-term contract with electrifying young shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., the San Diego Padres brought up the concept of a “statue contract”.
If the kid is as good as the Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman, maybe in 15 or 20 years there will be a statue of “El Niño” next to those Padres greats in a lawn just behind Petco Park.
The options were year-to-year, a multi-year contract that bought a year or two out of Tatis’ freelance agency, or a contract where Tatis was likely to be with the Padres for the rest of his career.
“In typical Tati fashion, his only real comment was, ‘Why not my whole career?'” General Manager AJ Preller said Monday when he announced that both sides had signed Tati’s 14-year deal for $ 340 million had completed the longest in baseball history.
“He wanted to be one of those unique players who played his career in one place,” said Preller. “He loves the franchise, he loves the city, he loves his teammates and he has talked a lot about really wanting to get on the path of this statuary contract.”
Tatis said, “I want the statue on a team. I want to stay on a team and build my legacy here in San Diego. “
If Tatis and the Padres are correct, the big decision will be which version of “El Niño” the statue shows: the one who does slick games at shortstop, using a “matrix” type to avoid them is marked on the first base or the one with the epic bat flip after the second home ring in a playoff game?