Fernando Tatis Jr. spotted at airport spurs Yankees rumors to Dodgers fans' delight

Cleveland Guardians v San Diego Padres
Cleveland Guardians v San Diego Padres / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres aren't trading Fernando Tatis Jr. For as much of a wild card president of baseball operations as AJ Preller is, he's not completely unhinged. Trading Tatis at his lowest value with Manny Machado opting out after 2023 and the Pads' World Series hopes as optimistic as they've ever been would be a massive oversight.

But Los Angeles Dodgers fans were given another sliver of hope on Tuesday that the Padres could blow up their operation and remove Tatis Jr. from the picture for good.

Not too long ago, the New York Yankees were rumored to be a trade destination for the star shortstop, but it was mere speculation. In fact, many trusted insiders, from FanSided's Robert Murray to YES Network's Jack Curry, refuted it confidently.

Then came late Monday night, however, when Dominican baseball report Hector Gomez tweeted a picture of Tatis Jr. headed from his home country to New York City as he was walking through the airport.

Aaron Judge's press conference to address his nine-year, $360 million contract is scheduled for Wednesday. Tatis Jr. ostensibly arrived in NYC on Tuesday. Is the bomb of all bombs about to drop?!

Fernando Tatis Jr. is on his way to New York City. Trade rumors are afoot again.

The picture of Tatis actually isn't what set social media ablaze. It was Yankees insider Bryan Hoch, who responded to the tweet and, out of nowhere, mentioned New York's trade for Aroldis Chapman years ago when general manager Brian Cashman acquired a "distressed asset" at the time. Chapman was under investigation for a domestic violence incident and his value plummeted. The ethics of making such a deal are a conversation for another time, but Tatis Jr. is in a similar boat.

After a late 2021 meltdown, an offseason motorcycle accident that derailed most of his 2022, and then a positive PED test that fully ended it, Tatis Jr., one could argue, has the Padres at their wit's end, especially after they invested $340 million in him just 143 games into his MLB career.

Hey, MLB Network seems to think he's available in a trade, so it's not just the wackos out there!

Additionally, per a recent report, Tatis Jr. has "always been adamant" about being an everyday shortstop ... which might be a problem now that Xander Bogaerts is in town and declared himself a shortstop at his introductory press conference.

Whether Tatis Jr. is traded or not (again, most likely not), it's at least refreshing for Dodgers fans to see the Padres remaining in some sort of turmoil, no matter how hard they try to create even the most positive of distractions.