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Dodgers finalize 10-year contract for Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani Dodgers jerseys with number 17 have been on sale at the MLB Store since Monday, December 11, 2023.
Shohei Ohtani Dodgers jerseys with number 17 have been on sale at the MLB Store since Monday, December 11, 2023.
Photo: MLB Store

The Dodgers on Monday evening made official their 10-year, $700 deal for superstar Shohei Ohtani, the largest contract in North American sports history.

“A historic contract for a historic player,” Ohtani’s agency CAA Sports said in a statement on Saturday, shortly after Ohtani announced the pact himself on Instagram.

Part of that historic contract is a whopping $680 million in deferred money, to be paid from 2034-43. The deferrals will reduce the value of the contract for competitive balance tax purposes down to a reported $460 million.

“Dodger fans, thank you for welcoming me to your team,” Ohtani 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.”

Ohtani number 17 Dodgers jerseys were already on sale earlier Monday.

Ohtani is coming off winning his second American League MVP award after hitting .304/.412/.654 with 44 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and a 180 wRC+ for the Angels in 2023, and also had a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts on the mound with 167 strikeouts and 55 walks in 132 innings.

The two-way superstar is not expected to pitch during the 2024 season after elbow surgery in September.

“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,” team chairman and owner Mark Walter 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.”

Because Ohtani declined a qualifying offer from the Angels in November, the Dodgers will forfeit their second-round and fifth-round picks in the 2024 MLB Draft. The full draft order is not yet finalized, but Los Angeles will select 23rd in the first round, their highest draft pick in seven years.

With Ohtani’s signing, the Dodgers’ 40-man roster is full.