San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has quickly gone from superstar to disappointment after receiving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Despite Tatis' misstep, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports the Padres are "highly unlikely" to contest his 14-year, $340 million contract.
San Diego gave Tatis the massive contract extension prior to the 2021 season. MLB teams are not allowed to invalidate a player's contract over a PED suspension, but Heyman notes that the motorcycle accident that cost Tatis two-thirds of the 2022 season "may have provided an opening to try to turn some or all of the contract from guaranteed to non-guaranteed." Tatis had been on a minor-league rehab assignment when the suspension was announced.
According to Heyman, the Padres are not interested in challenging Tatis' contract "for a variety of reasons." The team reportedly believes the 23-year-old "didn’t need the clostebol and just made a foolish mistake." Heyman added that San Diego has not lost faith in the two-time Silver Slugger, as "the strong belief in Tatis as a player apparently was the biggest factor not to act."
The Padres are second in the NL West with a 68-58 record, but they have gone just 10-12 since the trade deadline despite some notable acquisitions. San Diego bolstered their roster by landing Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader and Brandon Drury, but it hasn't resulted in success.
The Padres trail the Philadelphia Phillies by 2.5 games for the second wild card spot in the National League. San Diego will begin a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Friday.