Shohei Ohtani’s agent feels bad for Canadians, his contract should be praised, and more!

Photo credit:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
We got some clarity from Shohei Ohtani’s agent.
On Saturday morning, Bob Nightengale had an interview with Nez Balelo for USA Today where several things were discussed. Let’s look at a few of those things.

Balelo feels bad for Canada:

We all remember where we were on Friday, December 8 when PlaneGate happened. Dodgers Nation’s J.P. Hoornstra lost all credibility when he reported that Shohei Ohtani was signing with the Blue Jays, it’s not a drill.
A few hours later, reputable MLB Network employee Jon Morosi reported that Ohtani was on a plane from an airport near Anaheim to Toronto that fans had found earlier in the morning. It turned out to be Robert Herjavec on the plane.
When asked about the awful reporting, Balelo had this to say according to the USA Today article:
“I felt really, really bad for the country of Canada, and I felt really, really bad for the Toronto Blue Jays organization. They are really good people. What they had to endure, and the pain, wasn’t right. I felt so bad for all of them that they had to go through that because it was the extreme emotional roller coaster of thinking that they had him and then finding out they didn’t.”
It’s been a week since Ohtnai signed, and I’m not sure anyone is over it quite yet.

The contract:

There are several notes about Ohtani’s contract.
First off, the Dodgers didn’t increase their offer last second. Which also ties into the next point, that the contract was offered to all teams according to Farhan Zaidi, the San Francisco Giants’ president of baseball operations.
The Canadian executive (from Sudbury of all places) also said the Jays had a similar deal which they accepted, while the Angels refused to match the deal. As you may recall, Ohtani’s 10-year, $700 million is the largest deal signed in the history of sports, beating out Lionel Messi’s 2017 deal worth $674 million, or $168.5 million a season. Surprisingly, that’s not the highest average salary per year, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both make $214,534,727 a season.

The deferrals:

So this is annoying.
Due to deferring 97% of his contract, or $68 million a season, the value of his contract sits at $460 million, which is nearly $46.1 million a season towards the luxury tax. This in turn, gives the Dodgers a lot more room to sign other big free agents, and even trade for Tyler Glasnow who is a great pitcher when healthy. They’re also in pursuit of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and had an in person meeting with him last Tuesday.
Balelo had this to say:
“There’s no need to defend yourself on this, because it is the most incredible act of unselfishness and willingness to win that I’ve ever experienced in my life, or ever will. [Ohtani] did not care at all about the present value inflation. And you know what, neither did I. He should be praised for this. He did not want to handcuff a team with his salary. He said ‘How can I contribute to a team and allow them to stay competitive?’ So he took the most unselfish approach possible and deferred everything.”
Was it a great piece of business for the Dodgers and CAA? Sure. However, it’s incredibly manipulative of a loophole that needs to be fixed immediately, although no one may take advantage of it again, as Ohtani makes $50 million a season in sponsorships, with former teammate Mike Trout ranking second at $5 million.
The contract should not be praised at all.

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


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