Shohei Ohtani signs a $700 million, ten-year deal with the Dodgers.

For a greater salary than anyone could have ever dreamed, the most unusual player in baseball’s history has joined one of the most illustrious teams in the world.

The exceptional two-way player Shohei Ohtani, who has spent the last three years pushing the boundaries of what was considered possible at the top level of his sport, announced his choice to sign a seven hundred million dollar, ten-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on his Instagram page on Saturday.

“To all the fans as well as all associated in the baseball world, I apologize for taking a long time to come to a decision,” Ohtani said in a letter. “I have decided to select the Dodgers as my next baseball team.”

Ohtani’s deal is the largest in the history of baseball, worth over $250 million. It surpasses the $426.5 million, 12-year deal that his now-formal Los Angeles Angels colleague Mike Trout received in 2019. It also easily eclipsed the richest contract in North American professional sports history, which was signed by quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, for $450 million. Overcoming the $43.3 million Major League Baseball record formerly held by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, an approximate yearly remuneration of $70 million has been reached. It also exceeds the opening day payrolls of the Oakland Athletics ($56.9 million) and Baltimore Orioles ($60.9 million) in 2023.

There are no opt-outs in the agreement, which has not yet been made public by the Dodgers because they need to clear some procedures and make place on their 40-man roster for Ohtani. An ESPN source confirmed this. According to a second source, the Dodgers will be able to add players more freely during the course of Ohtani’s deal since the “majority” of his money will be postponed, lowering the team’s yearly payroll taxes obligation. The insider said that Ohtani came up with the concept for those postponements.

“Nez Balelo, the agency for Ohtani at CAA, stated in a statement, “This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic talent,” and that “Shohei is excited to be a member of the Dodgers arrangement.” He is excited to begin this partnership, and he ensured that there was a sincere commitment to long-term success on both sides when he created his contract.”

Ohtani, 29, was elected unanimous MVP twice in the last three years, making him the only player in baseball history to receive this distinction on numerous occasions. Around that period, he made history as the first two-way players in Major League Baseball since Babe Ruth tried his hand at both pitching and hitting more than a century previously.

The only thing that could stop him was a slight prod.

Nearing the close of his third straight stellar season with the Angels, Ohtani received word on August 23 of a fresh rupture in his ulnar collateral ligament, his second such injury in five years. He had what was loosely termed as a hybrid Tommy John operation about four weeks later. Ohtani would be ready to bat “without any constraints come opening day of 2024” and return to his job as a two-way player by 2025, according to a statement written by the doctor who conducted the surgery, Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache. However, specifics about the treatment were not readily available.

Ohtani’s much awaited pursuit of free agency similarly transpired in secret, with little information about his choices other than his want to pursue his two-way goals remaining in the public domain.

On Friday, speculation on social media that Ohtani might be joined the Toronto Blue Jays caused the interest to reach a fever pitch. There was conjecture that Ohtani might be on board a private plane that was discovered departing from Southern California and heading towards Toronto. After that, there were two bogus reports that surfaced. The first stated that Ohtani has decided to sign with the Blue Jays and was posted by the Dodgers Nation fan page. The second false story came from MLB Network, claiming that Ohtani was actually going to Toronto. Actually, the man on the trip was Robert Herjavec, a judge on “Shark Tank” and a Canadian entrepreneur.

Along with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and his previous team, the Angels, the Blue Jays were considered contenders for Ohtani; nevertheless, the Dodgers were always considered the front-runner.

“I want to sincerely thank all of the Angels organization’s staff members as well as the supporters who have supported me for the previous six years. everyone engaged with each team that was part of this negotiations process,” Ohtani stated in a letter. “Your guys’ encouragement and support meant the world to me, especially to the Angels fans who stuck by me through all the highs and lows. I shall always have the memories of my six years with the Angels in my heart.

“And for all Dodgers supporters, I promise to always act in the team’s greatest best and not to give up on improving myself. Until my playing days are over, I want to continue to work hard for the Dodgers while the baseball community.”

After Ohtani’s statement, the Dodgers moved up from +800 to +550 to win the playoffs at BET. They are currently the national bookmakers’ consensus favorite over the Atlanta Braves.

The Dodgers’ success throughout the regular season has defined them over the last few years just as much as their playoff setbacks.

Ten of the last eleven years have seen the Dodgers win the National League West, while four of the last five years have seen them record at least 100 victories. The 2020 season, which was cut short due to COVID-19, was the sole exception and resulted in the team’s first championship since 1988. But the last two years were particularly disappointing, as the division rival San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, respectively, eliminated teams from the NL Division Series.

Ohtani, who will be the designated hitter for the Dodgers in 2024, comes into a lineup that is led by Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts. The Dodgers are in severe need of a starting pitcher, but they may yet make a shot at Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto as they are anticipated to be active in the trade market for elite arms.

But they are hoping that on Opening Day in 2025, Ohtani will start for them.

Ohtani will play in two games facing the Padres for March 20–21 to mark his Dodgers regularly time of year debut. Ohtani will play the Los Angeles  twice in the next episode: on June 21–22 at home and on September 3–4 at Angel Stadium.

With a two-way goal in mind, Ohtani departed Japan early in 2017 in order to qualify as an international free agent, which severely limited his earning prospects on the open market.

The Angels, to many’s surprise, were Ohtani’s first choice for a home, but all of MLB was essentially lining up to sign him. During his first spring training, he had trouble adjusting, but in the first two months of his rookie season in 2018, he excelled as a pitcher and hitter. Even though he had to give up pitching because of a Grade 2 UCL strain that was discovered earlier in June 2018 and required first-time Tommy John surgery after non-invasive therapy failed, the injury did not stop him from earning the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

Ohtani played mostly as a designated hitter in 2018 and 2019, finishing with an.884 OPS and 40 home runs in 210 matches.

He had terrible struggles in the shortened 2020 season as a baseball pitcher and hitter. These setbacks set off a game-changing offseason. In the winter that followed, Ohtani worked on improving his nutrition, observed a variety of live pitching in the batter’s box, and studied his biomechanics on the mound. Afterward, at the start of spring training in 2021, he saw this translate into an exciting spectacle.

The Angels removed earlier limitations that kept Ohtani from swinging around his starting pitching days and effectively allowed him complete control over his playing time under the leadership of general manager Perry Minasian and then-manager Joe Maddon.

One of the strongest three-year runs in existence began as a result of it.

Throughout 2021 and 2023, Ohtani’s hitting line was.277/.379/.585, with 22 threes, 57 stolen bases that and 124 home runs. In 74 starts, he recorded a 2.84 ERA, 34 wins, and 542 strikeouts in 428⅓ innings pitched. On weighed runs created plus, he outperformed Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, and Freeman in terms of productivity. He was superior than Dylan Cease, Blake Snell, and Scherzer in fielding independent pitches. Ohtani was only able to avoid three straight MVP seasons in 2022 because to Aaron Judge’s AL record-breaking 62-homer season.

Teams rushed signing the relatively young free agent last winter because of his unparalleled skill set, which includes exceptional strength, speed, and arm strength in addition to his abilities to spin deadly breaking pitches. He also has a unique marketability. Many were worried about his ability to recover as a pitcher and scared by the huge price tag, but many more were willing to overlook those concerns in favor of the chance to sign the most unusual free agent in the history of Major League Baseball.

In the end, the Dodgers prevailed.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *