Shohei Ohtani is reportedly signing a record-breaking contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, agreeing to a guaranteed total number of years and dollar figure that is unprecedented in the history of sports.
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Dodgers Agree to 10-Year, $700 Million Contract
According to multiple reports, including ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Ohtani and the Dodgers have agreed to a 10-year, $700 million contract.
The previous largest contract in professional sports history was granted to Lionel Messi by FC Barcelona for four years and $674 million, which ran from 2017 to 2021.
Ohtani’s new deal shatters MLB history, beating his former Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout for the top spot by a wide margin. The other leading deals in the MLB are:
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: 12 years, $426.5 million
- Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers: 12 years, $365 million
- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: 9 years, $360 million
- Manny Machado, San Diego Padres, 11 years, $350 million
- Francisco Lindor, New York Mets: 10 years, $341 million
Shohei Ohtani Deal With Los Angeles Dodgers Includes ‘Significant Deferrals’
In an effort to ensure the Dodgers are able to remain competitive and pay other valuable players during Ohtani’s tenure, the deal also reportedly includes “significant deferrals.”
“Shohei Ohtani’s contract has significant deferrals that include most of his salary — an idea, a source said, that was Ohtani’s,” per Passan. “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.”
Ohtani reportedly insisted on making the record-breaking deal as easy to work around as possible for the Dodgers.
The deal includes: “unprecedented” deferrals – the majority of Ohtani's salary_which was his idea;. He insisted on mitigating the CBT and cash-flow burdens to enable the team to have flexibility in order to be competitive as possible.''
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 9, 2023
Ohtani’s deal was widely expected to break records, and he brings unprecedented value to franchises on and off the field.
Despite suffering an elbow injury at the end of the 2023 campaign, the bidding for Ohtani was fierce and reportedly came down to the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and the Angels, along with the Dodgers. The Dodgers had been a favorite to sign the Japanese superstar for some time.
Rumors that Ohtani was visiting Toronto is advance of agreeing to a deal with the Jays gained momentum yesterday before eventually being debunked. Former Milwaukee Brewers closer and Canada native John Axford took to X to appeal to Ohtani to join the Jays.
Outlook for Milwaukee Brewers, Rest of MLB As Ohtani Set to Join Los Angeles Dodgers Roster
The Brewers had not been linked to the pursuit of Ohtani, which has been the focus of the baseball world for months. And agreement with the Dodgers allows Ohtani to stay in Los Angeles.
Ohtani will join other high-profile sluggers Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman in a truly fearsome Dodgers lineup for the 2024 MLB season.