Big League Advance Investment: Tatis has shown promise in his last two seasons which is why the Padres are dealing out such a large amount of cash to keep him for a while. This contract is the largest one in Padres franchise history breaking teammate Manny Machado’s $300 million contract.
With the Padres being able to hold on to Tatis for over a decade and acquiring some good players this offseason they are legit contenders in baseball and could win a world series in the years to come.
What is interesting about Fernando’s contract is that $30 million has to go to an investment firm called Big League Advance.
What is Big League Advanced?
Big League Advance (BLA) is an investment firm that wants to help increase economic stability for minor league players. BLA was started by former Major Leaguer Michael Schwimer who played in 37 games with the Philadelphia Phillies.
BLA gives money upfront to minor league players in exchange for a percentage of their major league earnings.
Only 10% of minor league players make it to the majors so BLA does take a bunch of losses on their investments. If a player doesn’t make it to the majors they are not responsible for paying back BLA.
Big League Advance basically gambles on top prospects and hopes for them to become a star.
BLA uses stats to determine whether or not a player is worth gambling on. Players are offered a certain amount of money and then the player will choose what percentage of their earnings they will give back.
A usual deal would a $350,000 cash advance with eight percent of the player’s future earnings going to BLA.
Tatis signs with BLA
When Tatis was 18 he was a top prospect playing in Double-A but no one paid any attention to him. Big League Advance did their research and went through all of his stats and determined he had the potential to be a future star.
Specifics about Tatis payout hasn’t been released but if his contract is anything like BLA’s average one then he will own around $27 million. Tatis signed with BLA to afford a new apartment, better food, and a personal trainer.
In the minors, the players are basically on their own. Teams do not provide players with much, players are expected to basically invest in themselves and for Tatis, it worked out.
The average salary of a minor leaguer is around $10,000 a year and that is expected to go towards meals, equipment, housing, and clubhouse dues. The players give up a lot for this tiny sliver of a chance to make it big.
Last February the MLB came out with a new pay system for the minors that will raise player’s salaries. The Single-A weekly minimum was raised from $290 to $400; Double-A was raised from $350 to $600; Triple-A is now $700 instead of $502.
Without the Minors being so cheap Big League Advancement would never be a thing. Thankfully it is a thing and they will continue to support players like Tatis and even though he owes BLA almost $30 million he is going home with a big bag of cash.