Los Angeles, CA – December 10, 2023
In a groundbreaking move, Japanese baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani has shattered financial records by signing a monumental 10-year contract worth a staggering $700 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This historic deal, speculated to be the largest in sports history, surpasses previous benchmarks set by renowned footballers Lionel Messi and KylianMbappe.
On Saturday, Nez Balelo, Ohtani’s agent, released a statement that brought an end to months of anticipation originating before Ohtani entered free agency in November. The announcement signaled the end of a period characterized by heightened anticipation, during which both the media and fans closely monitored private plane activities and rumored sightings to unravel the plans of the individual recognized as the “two-time AL MVP,” formerly linked with the Los Angeles Angels.
Describing the contract as “unique and historic,” Balelo conveyed Ohtani’s enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing the mutual commitment to long-term success. The total sum of $700 million is an astonishing “64% higher than baseball’s previous record,” held by Angels outfielder Mike Trout with a $426.5 million, 12-year deal that commenced in 2019.
“Ohtani’s” average annual salary of $70 million is equally groundbreaking, standing at 62% above the previous high shared by “pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander with their respective deals with the New York Mets.” Notably, this figure approximately doubles the approximately “$42.3 million he earned during his time with the Angels and even surpasses the entire payrolls of Baltimore and Oakland for the year.”
“The agreement” incorporates innovative delayed money arrangements, strategically reducing the amount considered for the “Dodgers’ luxury tax payroll.” While specific details remain undisclosed, this aspect adds a distinctive dimension to an already unparalleled deal.
Through a statement on Instagram, Ohtani offered an apology for the postponed decision, conveying thanks to the Angels organization and the fans who have been supportive during his six-year tenure. He assured Dodgers fans of his commitment to always act in the team’s best interest and pledged to give his all until the last day of his playing career.
“Joining a star-studded Dodgers lineup” featuring Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, Ohtani’s move precedes the “2024 season, commencing in Seoul, South Korea, against San Diego on March 20-21.”
“Ohtani,” known for redefining modern baseball with exceptional dual-role performances as a hitter and pitcher, has been a force in the sports world. Despite injury setbacks in 2023, where he secured his second consecutive AL MVP, Ohtani boasts an impressive career with a “.274 average, 171 homers, 437 RBIs, and 86 stolen bases, along with a 39-19 record as a pitcher.”
While Ohtani’s pitching contributions are expected to be sidelined in 2024 due to elbow surgery, his impact on the game and his marketability as an athlete continue to set new standards. The Angels, in turn, will receive a draft pick following the second round of the 2024 draft as compensation for Ohtani rejecting their qualifying offer.