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Dodgers notes: Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Friedman, Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Ohtani was reportedly present for the Dodgers pitch meeting to Yamamoto on Tuesday

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Division Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v. Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani is the most famous baseball player in the world, and he just joined a new team, so I suspect there will be news about him just about every day for a while.

The Dodgers will introduce the superstar in a press conference on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT in the centerfield plaza at Dodger Stadium, alongside president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. The press conference will be televised by SportsNet LA and MLB Network.

Ohtani was also reportedly at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, part of the Dodgers’ pitch meeting to his Japan World Baseball Classic teammate Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Also present at the meeting were Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith.

There is an interesting clause in Ohtani’s 10-year contract, which was first reported by Ronald Blum at the Associated Press, and confirmed by Alden González at ESPN. From Blum, Ohtani “would be allowed to terminate his deal if Mark Walter no longer is controlling owner or president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman no longer is with the team.”

Ohtani’s contract, and the heavily-deferred structure of the deal, garnered all sorts of reaction from within baseball. Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic spoke with a number of team executives and agents, and their opinions of the deal ran the gamut.

Ben Clemens at FanGraphs dove deep into the numbers of Ohtani’s contract, in an attempt to define how we talk about it, but also cautioned, “ I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to figure out how baseball works based on a unicorn, basically. You’d do just as well trying to figure out how countries work by looking at Singapore, or how weather works by looking at a tornado.”

Higher interest rates now makes the Dodgers’ future payments to Ohtani look less expensive, says Telis Demos at the Wall Street Journal. “Whether his deal will be a winning one for all involved depends as much on what happens in the halls of the Fed as it does on what happens on the field at Dodger Stadium,” he wrote.

The Giants were one of the teams who met with Ohtani, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters that San Francisco had a similar, heavily-deferred contract offer, which lends credence to agent Nez Balelo’s claim that the deferred money was Ohtani’s ideal. “The proposal that was made was very comparable if not identical to what he wound up agreeing to,” Zaidi said Tuesday, per Maria Guardado at MLB.com.

Ohtani’s number 17 Dodgers jersey is flying off the shelves:


Patrick Dubuque analyzed Monday’s Dodgers-Yankees trade at Baseball Prospectus, and found both teams got something they wanted out of the deal. Then he used board games to discuss how the method we usually value trades is faulty.

“Trades are slow, and loud, and they’re lightning rods for criticism. They’re guaranteed to make you look foolish sometimes,” Dubuque wrote. “And if you’re not making them, as a team, you’re giving your opponents a sizable advantage, one missed opportunity at a time.”


Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs examined the Hall of Fame case for Chase Utley, who is in his first year on the ballot. Utley spent the final three-plus seasons of his career with the Dodgers after over a decade with the Phillies.

“When it comes to the Hall of Fame, Utley would appear to be facing an uphill battle based upon the length of his career, from his delayed arrival as a regular to his injuries and retirement at age 39,” Jaffe wrote.