San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr has been linked with a sensational move to New York Yankees, as they look to trade punches with wealthy rivals New York Mets.
The Yankees may have re-signed the most desirable player in MLB, after they agreed to bring Aaron Judge back to the Yankee Stadium. But they're not done there, and are keen to let their close rivals know that they're not the only team that can afford to do large deals.
The Mets have the richest owner in MLB, with Steve Cohen worth an estimated £12.25billion ($15.5bn), and they've wasted no time in the trade market ahead of the new season. But the Yankees are making sure they're at full-strength too.
The signing of Judge ended rumours that he could join San Francisco Giants, with the Yankees desperate not to let their prized asset leave. Judge was awarded the MVP for the 2022 season, and even broke the American league record for home runs.
Judge signed a nine-year £293million ($360m) contract to stay with the Yankees, but it's been rumoured that they could soon move for Tatis Jr. That's according to radio host Rick DiPietro, who thinks that the Yankees will be feeling the pressure to add more faces after re-signing judge.
The host said on DiPietro and Rothenberg's show on ESPN: "I don't care what they say, Hal (Steinbrenner) has to be feeling pressure right now, with what Steve Cohen is doing. I'll tell you what I heard over the weekend, as the Yankees are onto something big. I heard Tatis Jr over the weekend."
Signing Tatis Jr may be a big statement, but it's also not completely out of the question. The Padres just agreed to sign Xander Bogaerts from Boston Red Sox, and they could trade him rather than moving him elsewhere in the field.
Tatis Jr still has a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, meaning he will miss games at the start of the 2023 season. Tatis Jr will be eligible to return in the middle of April, but he is also coming back from wrist and shoulder surgeries.
The 23-year-old is signed to a long-term contract with the Padres, but his yearly salary is not over the top at this moment in time, and it could be a good investment for the Yankees. He’s set to make just £5.7m ($7m) in 2023, and although that'll rise in the future, he could be worth more by then.