SAN DIEGO — In discussing choices for a long-term cope with electrifying younger shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., the San Diego Padres introduced up the idea of “a statue contract.”As in, if the child is pretty much as good as Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman have been, perhaps in 15 or 20 years there might be a statue of “El Niño” alongside these Padres greats in a grassy space simply past Petco Park.The choices have been year-to-year, a multiyear deal that purchased out a yr or two of Tatis’ free company or a contract during which Tatis was with the Padres for probably the remainder of his profession.”In typical Tati vogue, his solely actual remark was, ‘Why not my complete profession?'” common supervisor A.J. Preller stated Monday in saying the 2 sides had finalized Tatis’ $340 million, 14-year contract, the longest in baseball historical past.1 Related”He needed to be a kind of very distinctive gamers that performs his profession in a single spot,” Preller stated. “He loves the franchise, he loves the town, he loves his teammates and he talked lots about actually eager to get on the trail of that statue contract.”Said Tatis: “I would like the statue on one crew. I would like to have the ability to keep on one crew and construct my legacy over right here in San Diego.”If Tatis and the Padres are appropriate, the large determination might be which model of “El Niño” the statue exhibits: the one making slick performs at shortstop, the one with a “Matrix”-type transfer to keep away from being tagged out at first base or the one with the epic bat flip after homering for the second time in a playoff recreation?”I’m going to place these numbers first after which we are able to focus on it,” Tatis stated with amusing throughout a videoconference from spring coaching in Peoria, Arizona. “I do not know. Maybe we are able to have three statues in several methods. We will see what occurs.”Tatis, 22, had been eligible for wage arbitration after this season and without cost company after the 2024 season.A son of former large league infielder Fernando Tatis, he has performed in solely 143 video games throughout two seasons, together with the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but has rapidly grow to be one of many faces of baseball.He stands out due to his aptitude, straightforward smile, blond dreadlocks flowing from beneath his cap and dance strikes within the dugout after hitting dwelling runs.Most importantly to the Padres, Tatis has made baseball enjoyable once more in San Diego after years of futility. He helped San Diego finish a 13-year playoff drought in 2020 and win a wild-card sequence towards the St. Louis Cardinals earlier than the Padres have been swept by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers within the NL Division Series.”I’m simply the identical child on the sector. Nothing’s going to alter,” he stated. “I’m enjoying the sport I like. And I really feel while you do the issues with ardour and with love, I really feel like it is going to reward you. And I really feel like when folks ask me how I’m going to play this recreation, I’m simply going to be the identical child each single time.”Tatis has dared to problem old-school norms. After hitting his second dwelling run in an 11-9 win in Game 2 of the wild-card sequence towards the Cardinals, he unleashed an emphatic bat flip. A photograph of Tatis in that second is on the quilt of the online game “MLB The Show 21.”In August, Tatis precipitated a stir when he hit a grand slam on a 3-0 rely with the Padres main the Texas Rangers by seven runs. The furor died down, and the Padres turned the primary crew in MLB historical past to hit grand slams in 4 straight video games and 5 in six video games, resulting in the nickname “Slam Diego.””He has an amazing respect for the sport of baseball. So much was made final yr, younger gamers altering the sport of baseball,” Preller stated. “What ends in success, it would not actually change from period to period. Some of the kinds change, perhaps a few of the expertise change at occasions, however he respects greatness, he respects the those that have come earlier than him. Lots of that credit score goes to his household.”Tatis has hit .301 with 39 dwelling runs, 98 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 143 video games.San Diego promoted Tatis to the majors on Opening Day of 2019, forgoing the prospect to delay his free company by ready just a few weeks — a actuality of the sport skilled by different younger stars like Kris Bryant with the Chicago Cubs and Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals.The size of Tatis’ contract exceeds the $325 million, 13-year settlement 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 forward of the 2019 season between Harper and Philadelphia.Baseball’s greatest deal by {dollars} stays Mike Trout’s $426.5 million, 12-year contract signed with the Angels in March 2019. Tatis’ deal is the third largest, additionally trailing Mookie Betts’ $365 million, 12-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that begins this season.