Peter Seidler sat in front of a camera and aired his thoughts from Peoria, Arizona, 18 months ago. The longest contract in major-league history was announced in front of a crowd at the Padres’ spring training facility. San Diego’s star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. recently signed a 14-year, $340 million deal, an unprecedented sum that caused controversy around the sport, including in certain areas of his club. But, for Seidler, baseball operations president A.J. Preller, and many others, it was a cause for unrestrained joy — they owned baseball’s most exciting young star, maybe for life.
In his lifetime, Seidler probably won’t sign too many 14-year contracts, but he hopes there will be others since the circumstances in this particular situation are ideal. Siedler adds that while he is conscious that he is not quite as mature as this 22-year-old adult now, he still has a burning desire to succeed in this field. There is a lot of trust, especially between Fernando and A.J., and he is confident that this was made evident during the Zoom conversation.
Fernando Tatis Jr. received an 80-game sentence from Major League Baseball. Tatis had already missed games this season due to a wrist injury he sustained in a motorbike accident in December. Preller said the club had hoped for Fernando Tatis Jr. to show more maturity and that the news of a negative test for performance-enhancing substances was “extremely upsetting.” He continued by saying that during the last few months, there had been a lack of trust between the parties. The general manager may have never spoken as sharply in public as he did Friday night, but Preller never raised his voice once during a nine-minute chat with reporters.
Fernando Tatis Jr. ’s Statement
Fernando Tatis Jr. was still in San Diego at the time. He had discreetly left Frisco, Texas, where he was serving a rehab assignment with Double-A San Antonio, knowing what was about to happen. Tatis Jr. issued a statement saying that he had “inadvertently” taken the clostebol 30 minutes after MLB announced his suspension. Seidler, Preller, teammates, the league, and supporters all received the sincere apologies of Fernando Tatis Jr. It will be interesting to see if he can win back everyone’s trust, especially those inside his clubhouse. He is the greatest figure in baseball to suffer a PED sentence since Alex Rodriguez, and Tatis Jr. already has a tainted reputation at age 23.