The San Diego Padres officially announced Fernando Tatis Jr.'s 14-year, $340-million extension on Monday. Afterward, the Padres and Tatis held a press conference to discuss the record-breaking contract that will keep him in town through the 2034 season.
As is the custom with these kinds of things, Tatis was asked to explain why he agreed to such a deal. Rather than say, because they guaranteed me $340 million and included a full no-trade clause, he chose to express his love for San Diego as a city and as an organization, and to talk up his career aspirations.
"People are saying, 'Oh, too many years,' but I just love what I'm seeing, what we're going to do," Tatis said, according to MLB.com's AJ Cassavell. "I want that statue on one team. I want to stay on one team and build my legacy over here in San Diego." (Cassavell explained that the Padres' pitch to Tatis included the term "statue contract," as in him staying for the next decade-plus could result in a statue honoring his career inside Petco Park, a la Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman.)
Tatis added: "To the city of San Diego ... We're here to stay. I love this city. I'm all about winning here in San Diego."
Of course, Tatis has a lot of reason to be happy in addition to the money, the no-trade clause, the potential lionization, and the weather. The Padres, already good, bolstered their roster with a number of star additions over the winter, including Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. Add in a farm system that still has a number of blue chippers, such as MacKenzie Gore and CJ Abrams, and the Padres seem like a team that hasn't yet hit its stride, and a team that can grow and come into its own right alongside its star shortstop.
San Diego will need all the help and good vibes it can summon if it is to chase down the Los Angeles Dodgers. In addition to winning last year's World Series, the Dodgers have claimed the NL West every season since 2013.