Padres manager: Tatis Jr.'s 'talent is undeniable' on heels of record contract

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Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 20:43:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- There is a lot of buzz over the Padres reported $340-million contract extension for Fernando Tatis Jr., but the Friars feel their young shortstop will be worth every penny.

The deal isn't official as of yet, but Tatis is about to become the fifth player in Major League Baseball with a contract in excess of $300 million. The deal would make the 22-year-old the third highest-paid player in MLB history.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler says it's a payday that is well deserved.

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"I think the easiest thing to see with him is his talent, and that is on all aspects of his game. The way he runs, the way he moves, and hits for power. He plays the game with such a fun spirit," said Tingler.

Even though Tatis Jr. has yet to play a full season since arriving in the big leagues in 2019, Tingler says he has the ability to be a transcendent player — you could make comparisons to Michael Jordan in basketball, and Wayne Gretzky in hockey.

"That's a yes, that is a definite. Like I said, the talent is undeniable," says Tingler.

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Tatis' play on the field, to go along with his exuberance, charisma, and personality has gained him national attention. So it's not a surprise Gatorade, and video games like MLB's "The Show" came seeking his services.

"I think he is the right guy to market the sport, I think he is the right guy for just the industry of baseball," Tingler said.

Spending big money on players wasn't something the Padres organization was known for. But in 2017, that changed with an $80-million contract extension for Wil Myers. And that was just the beginning, as the following year they signed free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, and then the biggest move of all and maybe a surprise to everyone in baseball, a $300 million contract was given to Manny Machado.

After last season's first playoff run in 14 years, the Padres have added more payroll to the roster, with recent acquisitions of Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. The organization is sending a message to their fans of a willingness to spend what it takes to put a winning team on the field.

"Certainly with ownership and the front office able to make the moves, we've got a lot of belief in the group that we have in that clubhouse, and with the team we will put on the field," says Tingler.