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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ohtani Signs Record $700M Contract With Dodgers

  • Two-way phenom sets new record for U.S. team sports.
  • Much of contract will be deferred to help team stay competitive.
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

After months of anticipation captivating all of baseball, Shohei Ohtani has signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that smashes all prior records for player contracts in U.S. team sports.

The two-way phenom and unanimous 2023 American League MVP broke the news of the signing himself, posting a message on Instagram that both looked back to his prior stint with the crosstown Los Angeles Angels and to his professional future with the Dodgers.

“The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever,” Ohtani wrote. “And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and to always 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.”

The historic size of the deal beats prior expectations for Ohtani by at least $100 million, and surpasses the $503 million extension for Patrick Mahomes with the Kansas City Chiefs by nearly $200 million.

Among MLB contracts, Ohtani’s new deal also shatters the prior mark held by his now-former teammate, Mike Trout, who has a $426.5 million deal with the Angels. The average annual salary of $70 million also smashes the prior high of $43.3 million held by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander by 62%.

Ohtani’s deal with the Dodgers, however, is reported to include “unprecedented” deferrals involving most of that $700 million, a move that will allow the team to remain competitive as they carry the largest and third-largest contracts in league history when also considering Mookie Betts and his 12-year $365 million deal. 

“This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player,” said Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo of CAA Sports. “He is excited to begin this partnership, and he structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success.”

Notably, the total size of Ohtani’s deal is only $300 million less than the estimated $1 billion value of the league’s least-valuable franchise, the Miami Marlins.

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