Rays, Padres, Nationals agree to 11-player trade

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A massive three-team, 11-player trade has officially been agreed upon between the Rays, Padres, and Nationals. Jim Bowden of SiriusXM and ESPN.com was first to post the entire breakdown

RAYS GET …

Steven Souza, outfielder, from Nationals
Travis Ott, pitcher, from Nationals
Rene Rivera, catcher, from Padres
Burch Smith, pitcher, from Padres
Jake Bauers, first baseman, from Padres

PADRES GET …

Wil Myers, outfielder, from Rays
Ryan Hanigan, catcher, from Rays
Jose Castillo, pitcher, from Rays
Gerardo Reyes, pitcher, from Rays

NATIONALS GET …

Joe Ross, pitcher, from Padres
Trea Turner, shortstop, from Padres

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The Padres got the biggest name in the deal in Myers, who struggled this past season for Tampa Bay but won American League Rookie of the Year honors in 2013. A wrist injury has somewhat derailed his career, but the 24-year-old right fielder should be fully recovered by now and he was thought of as one of the top young position players in baseball just a couple years ago. To get him, San Diego had to unload a bunch of young pitching and Turner, the 13th overall pick in the 2014 June MLB Amateur Draft. With the caveat that it’s impossible to analyze any trade the moment after it happens, this sure seems like a smart, crafty swap for the Nationals. They gave up an expendable part in Souza and a 19-year-old pitcher in Ott to get two very good prospects. Turner should be a long-term replacement for Ian Desmond, who is entering his walk year.

Padres will try to lock up Fernando Tatís Jr. to a long term deal

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The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will try to get Fernando Tatís Jr. locked up in a long-term deal before the start of the 2020 season.

It’d be a wise move from the team’s perspective, of course. Tatís showed in 2019 that he’s the future of the franchise, hitting .317/.379/.590 with 22 homers and 16 stolen bases through 84 games while playing spectacular defense at short. He was a serious contender for the Rookie of the Year Award before going down to injury and still finished third despite playing just a tad over half a season.

That talent and promise means that, in all likelihood, Tatís stands to make massive money in arbitration and free agency once he gets there. If he gets there, that is. Because as we’ve seen so often in recent years, teams have been aggressive in their efforts to lock up young stars like Tatís, buying out their arbitration and at least a couple of their free agency years. These deals tend to be team-friendly, with multiple team options aimed at getting maximal value out of such players before they hit the open market. Of course, the players get much more up front money than they would in the three seasons in which teams can and do set their salaries unilaterally, usually at less than $1 million per year. It’s a standard now vs. later tradeoff, even if the value of the “now” is far less than the value of “later” and even if it pays these guys far less than they’re worth overall.

But that’s the system. And it’s one which will force Tatís to make a tough choice: either take a deal at a time when the team has most of the leverage or else turn down millions in hand now in order take a shot at many more millions later. In his case, he’ll have a rookie season with multiple injuries to think about too. Does that portend future injury issues? Could he, like some players who have been in his shoes before, end up damaged goods by the time he expected to get paid?

We’ll see how both he and the Padres calculate all of that between now and February, it seems.