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Home / Sports / Dodgers officially announce signing of Shohei Ohtani

Dodgers officially announce signing of Shohei Ohtani

by City News Service
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The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Monday they have signed Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year contract, two days after the two-time American League Most Valuable Player said he would be joining the team.

“Dodger fans, thank you for welcoming me to your team,” the two-way star who spent the first six seasons of his major league career with the Los Angeles Angels, said in a statement. “I can say 100% percent that you, the Dodger organization and I share the same goal — to bring World Series parades to the streets of Los Angeles.”

The Dodgers have not had a World Series parade since 1988. No parade was held following their World Series victory in 2020 because of coronavirus restrictions.

“On behalf of the L.A. Dodgers and our fans everywhere, we welcome Shohei Ohtani to the Dodgers, the home of Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Hideo Nomo, three of the sport’s most legendary and pathbreaking players. We congratulate him on his historic contract with our storied franchise” Mark Walter, chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Guggenheim Baseball, said in a statement.

“Shohei is a once-in-a-generation talent and one of the most exciting professional athletes in the world. Our players, staff, management and ownership look forward to working together with Shohei to help the Dodgers continue to add, improve and strive for excellence on the field.

“Together with Shohei, we will work to help grow the number and breadth of people around the world who enjoy the excitement of Major League Baseball.”

Terms of the contract were not announced. It has been widely reported the contract is worth $700 million, the richest deal in U.S. sports history.

The sports news website The Athletic reported Monday that the 29-year-old Ohtani will have $68 million of his $70 million salary deferred each season until after the completion of the contract. The deferred money will be paid out without interest from 2034 to 2043.

The deferrals were said to be suggested by Ohtani and will provide the Dodgers additional cash flow and payroll flexibility, according to The Athletic.

The Angels issued this statement:

“Shohei Ohtani is a generational talent and it was an honor to watch him make history throughout the six seasons he spent in an Angels uniform.

“We feel extremely fortunate that Angels fans were able to witness him redefine what is possible in our sport.

“We thank Shohei for his many contributions to our franchise and the game of baseball. We wish him the best during the next chapter of his career.”

Ohtani was the unanimous selection as the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2021 and 2023, the only player to earn that honor unanimously on multiple occasions.

Ohtani hit 46 home runs and posting a 9-2 record as a pitcher in 2021.

Ohtani hit a major league-leading 44 home runs in 2023, despite missing the Angels’ final 25 games after injuring his right oblique while taking batting practice at Angel Stadium on Sept. 4 and 10-5 as a pitcher.

The $70 million average yearly salary far outdistances the previous record of $43.3 million for pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.

The NFL’s richest contract is believed to belong to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes at $450 million over 10 years. NBA stars Jaylen Brown, Nikola Jokic and Bradley Beal have contracts worth more than $250 million.

Ohtani is not expected to pitch again until at least 2025 after suffering a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament on Aug. 23.

Ohtani is expected to be ready to be ready to be the Dodgers’ designated hitter when they open the 2024 season March 20 against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea.

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