Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. makes Opening Day roster

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With all of the talk about service time manipulation in recent years, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Padres top prospect Fernando Tatis, Jr. would open the season in the minors, at least until mid-April when the club secures another year of contractual control. However, Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports that Tatis has made the Padres’ Opening Day roster.

Tatis is rated by just about every outlet as the No. 2 prospect in baseball behind Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Tatis is well-regarded for his bat, speed, and defense. Last year, with Double-A San Antonio, he hit .286/.355/.507 with 16 home runs, 43 RBI, 77 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 394 plate appearances. Tatis did not exactly knock the cover off of the ball this spring, batting .241 in 54 at-bats, but showed enough to the Padres’ brass to warrant inclusion on the 25-man roster.

Tatis will displace Luis Urías from the starting shortstop job, handling the left side of the infield alongside newcomer Manny Machado. Urías will open the season at Triple-A.

The Padres are projected to be around a .500 team, but a full season of Tatis could move the needle quite a bit and make them a legitimate NL Wild Card threat or more. Kudos to the Padres for putting together their best possible roster rather than gaming their prospects’ service time.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.