The Face Of Baseball Gets Paid
A few days ago, Fernando Tatis Junior got his money worth to make him a San Diego Padre for life. A whopping $340 million contract for the next 14 years. Making him the third-highest Major League Baseball player in history. Only Mike Trout and Mookie Betts are ahead of him.
Wow. What is going on in baseball? Another player getting a lifetime contract for hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. The market is changing, changing as we have never seen before. I think all teams now are going to be trending this way. No matter how big or small of a market you are. We've seen all ranges of markets pay the big bucks to players.
We've seen Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and others from large and small markets get a significant amount of money for a long period of time. Teams are now recognizing that once they know they have a star player, that player is the person whom they're going to build a team around to get a ring. Gone are the days of a star player from a small market going to a big market like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers. Those teams are already signing star players from their own market or other big markets. Like Mookie Betts going from the Red Sox to the Dodgers.
The extension of Fernando Tatis Jr. has officially changed everything. Owners are willing to spend money now, especially in smaller markets. Just look at the Toronto Blue Jays and the money they're dealing now. (Can't say the same for that owner in Pittsburgh). I applaud the Padres for doing this. It has been a long time coming for this franchise. In the last 2-3 years, they have signed Will Meyers, Manny Machado, Blake Snell, Mike Clevenger, and now Tatis. These are not scrubs. All of these players have been to the playoffs and have done well with their teams in the past. And yes, Tatis is the face of baseball. Go ahead and check out the piece I wrote about him a few months ago on why he is.
What does this mean moving forward for the Padres? Well if the Dodgers think they own the NL West, they better think again because San Diego isn't going anywhere. I still would pick the Dodgers to win the division, especially after signing Trevor Bauer. But it is not going to be easy. San Diego is not far off the mark of stealing this division away. I wouldn't be surprised, honestly.
But things are heating up in the wild wild NL West. Definitely the two teams in a division to keep an eye on, because it will be a battle.