If you thought the offseason chaos would die down now that the MLB Winter Meetings are over, think again.
On Monday morning, ‘Tatis’ and ‘Tatis Jr.’ both trended on Twitter, because New York Yankees fans were discussing this report by former New York Islanders goalie turned sports radio host Rick DiPietro.
Fernando Tatis Jr. to the Yankees?
Should Red Sox fans be worried about a Fernando Tatis Jr. trade to the Yankees?
There’s no way.
Most Yankees fans and media members aren’t falling for DiPietro’s report, but let’s break down why it’s not happening, just for good measure.
Tatis’ contract has a full no-trade clause until 2029 when it becomes a 10-team no-trade clause until he reaches free agency in 2035. Then there’s the fact that as much as Yankees GM Brian Cashman lets top prospects debut but not actually get playing time to prove themselves, he’d also have to commit a haul of prospects and money if he wanted to get Tatis. Cashman was willing to take on Giancarlo Stanton’s albatross of a contract after the 2017 season, but the difference is that he was coming off an MVP season, and the recency bias over him hitting 59 home runs glossed over the fact that he’d only played more than 123 games twice in his previous seven seasons. Tatis didn’t play at all in 2022, missed time due to injury in 2021, had shoulder surgery in September, and a second wrist surgery in October. Paying Carlos Correa or Dansby Swanson feels like a more likely, easier path to a proven shortstop in pinstripes.
The Padres won’t want to part with Tatis when his stock is low, anyway. He missed the entire 2022 season after fracturing his wrist in an offseason motorcycle accident, and when he finally began a rehab assignment, he tested positive for a banned substance. Despite accepting responsibility for what he claimed was the careless mistake of not reading a medication’s ingredients, the incident drew overwhelming criticism.
As much as the Padres have publicly voiced their disappointment with Tatis this year and the talking heads on MLB Network love to speculate, he’s still considered the future and one of the faces of their franchise. Just last week, chairman Peter Seidler expressed excitement about Tatis’ return from his 80-game PED suspension; he should be eligible to play in late April. With Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, Tatis can play the outfield and spend time as the designated hitter.
What has a better chance of happening, the Red Sox being a competitive team in 2023, or Tatis getting traded? Were I a betting woman, I’d go with the former, and this team doesn’t look like it’s going to win anything.
On the other hand, if the Padres really are thinking about trading Tatis, which feels about as likely as Ted Williams getting unfrozen to play the outfield in Boston this year, what on earth did the Sox ever do to them? They already took Bogaerts, haven’t they caused enough pain here without sending one of the best sluggers in baseball to Boston’s mortal enemy?