On Saturday, Shohei Ohtani agreed to a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani announced on Instagram on Saturday that he will play for his old team’s crosstown foe starting next season.
“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 striving forward for the Dodgers and the baseball world,” Ohtani wrote.
The contract is the largest in baseball history by over $250 million, topping the 12-year contract, $426.5 million, that now-former teammate Mike Trout signed in 2019. The $70 million average annual salary also easily eclipses the previous record of $43.3 million for Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
A source told ESPN that the deal does not include any opt-outs. Another source said “the majority” of Ohtani’s salary will be deferred to mitigate what the Dodgers are charged toward their competitive balance tax payroll every year, giving them more freedom to add to their payroll over the life of Ohtani’s contract. The deferrals, according to the source, were Ohtani’s idea.
Ohtani, 29, is the first player in baseball history to be named unanimous MVP on multiple occasions, an honour bestowed upon him twice over the past three years. During that stretch, he defied conventionality as he excelled as both a pitcher and a hitter while becoming Major League Baseball’s first two-way player since Babe Ruth dabbled in both roles more than a century ago.
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