Fernando Tatis Jr.
The Chicago White Sox traded away one of the best players in the world.
Oh, what could have been. Fernando Tatis Jr. is easily the most exciting young player in baseball. At the age of 23, he has already won two Silver Slugger Awards, been named an All-Star, and earned a 14-year contract worth $340 million with the San Diego Padres.
The White Sox traded him as a teenager for James Shields in an effort to bolster their rotation for a playoff run. Shields posted a 6.77 ERA and the White Sox missed the playoffs. It is safe to say that the deal did not work out as planned.
To be fair to Rick Hahn, it is hard to project how good a 16-year-old kid will be. But had the White Sox held onto Tatis and watched him develop into the force he is today, they would easily have the most electric infield in baseball.
Before undergoing wrist surgery that ended his 2022 campaign, Tatis batted .282/.364/.611 with a .975 OPS in 2021. He led the National League with 42 home runs and drove in 97 RBIs. Not only can Tatis rake but he can also steal bases. He swiped 25 bags in 2021.
Tatis Jr. is also one of the most marketable personalities in the game. He was named the cover athlete for MLB The Show in 2021. The White Sox are still kicking themselves for trading Tatis.
However, as a 16-year-old, he would not help them win games in 2016. The White Sox thought they had a team to compete with so they rolled the dice. It’s the risk every team runs when adding talent before the trade deadline.