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Shohei Ohtani signs 10-year, $700-million contract with the LA Dodgers
By Zach Laing2 months ago
Shohei Ohtani has chosen his team: the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The superstar free agent announced via his Instagram account his intention to join the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported moments later Ohtani would sign a 10-year contract worth $700-million, and is fully guaranteed.
In his Instagram post, Ohtani apologized for “taking so long to come to a decision,” expressing his “sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process.”
The news is devastating to Toronto Blue Jays fans, as the team had been in the thick of as one of the finalists for Ohtani. While the Jays had initially been considered a long shot to land the once-in-a-millenium player, Ohtani had significant interest in what the Jays had. So much so that last Monday, Ohtani visited the Blue Jays’ spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida.
His contract comes in at a staggering $951.6 million when converted from USD to CAD. Many predicted that the total value of Ohtani’s contract could reach $600 million, but none had estimated a number as high as what it came in at in the end.
The 29-year-old native of Oshu, Japan, is coming off a year where he posted career numbers, hitting 44 home runs and slashing .304/412/.654, with an 184 OPS+. Ohtani was just as lethal last season on the mound across 122 innings, posting a 3.14 ERA, 4.00 FIP while fanning 11.4 batters per nine innings. All in all, his performance earned him his second unanimous MVP award.
Ohtani, however, had his pitching shut down in late August, before undergoing elbow surgery. He won’t be on the mound for the upcoming 2024 campaign, but has been expected to be ready to return in 2025.
His contract becomes far and away the largest in MLB history, and Passan reported the deal has “significant defferals that include most of his salary, — an idea, a source said, that was Ohtani’s,” adding that “in deferring the money, it reduces the cost of the competitive-balance-tax hit and will allow the Dodgers to build a better team around him”
Now, the Toronto Blue Jays will look to pivot quickly, as the free agent and trade market will likely ramp up with Ohtani’s deal becoming official.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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