Shohei Ohtani’s new deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers is an eye popper.
The pitcher/DH will earn $700 million over the next 10 years to join the Dodgers.
Ohtani, 29, posted the following message to Instagram on Saturday.
“I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself. Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers but for the baseball world,” Ohtani said.
“I would like to express my 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,” Ohtani wrote. “Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever,” the post continued.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that Ohtani’s contact has deferrals which will reduce the competitive-balance-tax and allow the Dodgers to continue to add additional players around him.
Shohei Ohtani’s contract has significant deferrals that include most of his salary — an idea, a source said, that was Ohtani’s. 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.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2023
Ohtani’s deal is the largest in sports history. Earlier this offseason he became the first player to win unanimous MVP awards on multiple occasions.
Ohtani is expected to be ready for Opening Day as a hitter and should be able to retake the mound in 2025 after suffering a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in August and then a modified Tommy John surgery weeks later.