Shohei Ohtani, the two-time AL MVP with the Los Angeles Angels, has signed a historic 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers worth $700 million. Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo, made the announcement, stating that the contract reflects a true commitment from both sides to long-term success. The deal surpasses the previous record contract in baseball, a $426.5 million, 12-year deal for Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
Ohtani's average salary of $70 million is also a record, exceeding the previous high of $43,333,333 earned by pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. The agreement includes deferred money that will lower the amount counted towards the Dodgers' luxury tax payroll. This contract is believed to be one of the largest in sports history, surpassing the highs set by soccer stars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé.
Ohtani's decision to join the Dodgers comes after six years with the Angels, during which he redefined modern baseball with his exceptional performance as both a hitter and a pitcher. Despite his individual achievements, Ohtani has not made the playoffs or played on a winning team during his time with the Angels.
Joining a lineup that includes 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, Ohtani will be a key addition to the Dodgers' roster. The team won the NL West this year but was eliminated in the Division Series.
Ohtani expressed gratitude to the Angels organization and the fans who supported him over the past six years. He also pledged to always do what's best for the Dodgers and strive forward for the baseball world.
The Dodgers' 2024 season will begin in Seoul, South Korea, against the San Diego Padres. Ohtani's decision to sign with the Dodgers marks a significant move in his career and has generated excitement among fans and the baseball community.