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MLB Notebook: Shohei Ohtani contract designed to help Dodgers spend more, Jon Morosi speaks about inaccurate report, and more

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
On Saturday, Shohei Ohtani himself announced via Instagram that he was signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It sucked the wind right out of the sails for the Blue Jays hype boat, especially since the Dodgers paid $700 million for the two-way superstar. There was a mention of deferrals, but no one expected the news today.
The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya reported Monday evening that Ohtani will defer $68 million a season for the 10 years, meaning that Ohtani will just make $2 million a season for payroll.
Instead of costing the Dodgers $70 million against their luxury tax number each season, he’ll only cost Los Angeles $46 million according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. And no, nothing can be done about the manipulative loophole, as the CBA has no limits on deferrals.
 
Is this a smart piece of business for the Dodgers and Ohtani? Sure, especially since when the $68 million payments start to hit in 2034, Ohtani may not have to fax California’s tax laws. However, this is awful for the game of baseball, as it means that the Dodgers can essentially form a super team like the NBA.
For what it’s worth, Ohtani apparently did this for all the teams he negotiated with according to Jack Harris of the LA Times. However, the contract would still go against the game, even if he signed with the Blue Jays.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto update:

With the Dodgers signing Ohtani to an annual salary of $2 million, they’ll have a ton of free money to sign starters for their very weak rotation. One of the starters they’ve been rumoured to be in on is Yamamoto. However, the 25-year-old Japanese ace met with the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.
Another team rumoured to be interested in Yamamoto is the New York Yankees. Per Jack Curry of YES Network, the organization “remain optimistic about their pursuit of the free agent pitcher.” If you can recall, the Yankees spent big last season for starting pitcher Carlos Rodón, giving him a six-year, $162 million deal, just to post a 6.85 ERA and a 5.79 FIP in 64.1 innings pitched. 
This probably won’t happen to Yamamoto, but the Yankees will have to eventually stop spending… right?

Jon Morosi speaks about inaccurate Ohtani-to-Toronto report:

As you can recall, Morosi incorrectly reported that Ohtani was en route via plane to Toronto on Friday. After other reporters denied this being the case, Morosi eventually noted that it was a mistake on his behalf.
We won’t dig into conspiracy theories, but he spoke on Sean Casey’s show, and took accountability for his mistakes. Noting that it was his mistake, and his mistake alone, and that he is still deeply sorry for the pain that he caused, especially to us Canadians.
Personally, I feel a little bad for Morosi. He got news from a source that he trusted and reported on it. Who knows if it was intentionally incorrect or not, but the fact he takes accountability for it matters. Secondly, he’s one of the big, national reporters who always has good things to say about Toronto and Canada, unlike how Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman have called the city small-time recently.
There are ways to go about rebuilding your credibility after something like this happens, and taking accountability is the first step.

Toronto is still going to be active in the market:

Speaking of reporters that hype Canada up… Transcribed by the wonderful Ben Turner (@benturn22 on Twitter), Robert Murray of Fansided reported that he expects the Jays to still be active in free agency, with a name drop of Cody Bellinger.
I wrote an entire article about why he isn’t just some consolation prize, and how he’s still a big get on Monday morning, but he fits multiple needs. Below is a wonderful thread from Sportsnet’s Chris Black, noting that the changes Bellinger has made are sustainable.
Bellinger is the best free agent position player on the market, and his ability to play excellent defense in the outfield while also playing first base will help the Jays significantly.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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