Shohei Ohtani, the hottest free agent this offseason and possibly ever, is heading up the I-5 to the Los Angeles Dodgers with an unprecedented, 10-year $700 million contract. It is the largest deal ever given to an MLB player, by more than $250 million, and is the biggest contract given out by any North American sports franchise, ever. Ohtani’s former Angels teammate Mike Trout falls second behind him with his 12-year $426 million contract.
On Saturday, the two-time Most Valuable Player announced his decision via his Instagram account.
According to reports, Ohtani’s contract contains significant deferrals, allowing the Dodgers some flexibility to add other players and reduce the competitive tax balance penalty.
A statement released by Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo of CAA Sports, alludes to the fact that Shohei had some significant input into the structuring of the contract.
“This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player,” Balelo wrote. “Shohei is thrilled to be a part of the Dodgers organization. He is excited to begin this partnership, and he structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success. Shohei and I want to thank all the organizations that reached out to us for their interest and respect, especially the wonderful people we got to know even better as this process unfolded. We know fans, media, and the entire industry had a high degree of interest in this process, and we want to express our appreciation for their passion and their consideration as it played out.”
Due to a late-season injury, the two-way megastar will begin his time with the Dodgers exclusively as a batter. It is unknown when he will get back on the mound. Over six major league seasons, Ohtani slashed .274/.366/.556 with 171 home runs and a .922 OPS. From the bump, he’s 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA, including 608 strikeouts over 481 2⁄3 innings.
And if you’re wondering what Shohei will look like in Dodger Blue, it’s pretty slick.