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Wednesday February 24th, 2021 11:33PM

Fernando Tatis' $340M, 14-year deal finalized by Padres

By The Associated Press
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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr.'s $340 million, 14-year contract was finalized Monday by the San Diego Padres, the longest deal in baseball history.

“Fernando is a special talent who will be instrumental in bringing a world championship to the city of San Diego,” general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement. “Throughout the process, Fernando’s desire to stay here long term was clear, and we are thrilled that we were able to come to an agreement.”

Tatis, 22, had been eligible for salary arbitration after this season and for free agency after the 2024 season.

The length of his contract exceeded the $325 million, 13-year agreement in November 2014 between Miami and Giancarlo Stanton, who was traded to the New York Yankees in December 2017, and the $330 million, 13-year contract ahead of the 2019 season between Bruce Harper and Philadelphia.

Baseball's biggest deal by dollars remains Mike Trout’s $426.5 million, 12-year contract signed with the Angels in March 2019. Tatis’ deal is the third-largest, also trailing Mookie Betts' $365 million, 12-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that starts this season.

While Tatis' contract is of record length, his $24.29 million average salary ranks 19th in baseball.

“Fernando has earned the trust, respect and commitment of our organization,” Padres owner Peter Seidler said in a statement. “Our passionate and loyal fans in San Diego and around the globe now know that Fernando will be wearing a Padres uniform for the next 14 years while displaying his winning and joyful approach to America’s pastime.”

Tatis, 22, hit .277 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with a .366 on-base percentage and .571 slugging percentage, and he was fourth in the NL in home runs with 17 and RBIs with 45 while stealing 11 bases.

A son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis, he has a .301 average in 143 career big league games with 39 home runs, 98 RBIs since his debut on March 28, 2019.

Tatis signed for a $700,000 bonus as an amateur with the Chicago White Sox in 2015, then earned $555,555 as a rookie in 2019 and $219,185 in prorated pay last season. He was traded to San Diego on June 4, 2016, for right-hander James Shields and cash considerations.

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