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Dodgers notes: Shohei Ohtani, Kobe Bryant, Tyler Glasnow

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The busy week for the Dodgers including finalizing a record-setting 10-year contract for Shohei Ohtani, then introducing him at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers also are set to acquire and extend Tyler Glasnow, though that trade hasn’t yet made official.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday evening that the Dodgers-Rays trade is expected to be announced on Saturday.

So while we wait for that deal to be completed, here are some other Dodgers stories to peruse to start your weekend.

Jeff Passan and Alden González at ESPN have some details into the Dodgers’ December 1 meeting with Ohtani, including using a video they planned to use as part of a closing pitch in 2017 — a video from Kobe Bryant:

Back in 2017, Bryant had filmed the clip as a favor to the team. Now, more than three years after his death in a helicopter crash, Bryant’s reputation as the ultimate competitor spans all sports, and his message to Ohtani registered the same posthumously in 2023 as it would have then: There’s no better place in the world to win than Los Angeles, and there’s no better team in baseball to win with than the Dodgers.

The Dodgers’ 10-year contract for Ohtani was more than just a baseball move for the Dodgers, writes Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times. “He will undoubtedly help the Dodgers win a lot of games,” Castillo wrote. “But Dodgers ownership’s investment in Ohtani was a business decision for the brand before it was a baseball transaction for the club.”

Another way Ohtani has been utilized in his first week on the job is to help recruit other players. He was one of a handful of Dodgers in the pitch meeting with Yoshinobu Yamamoto earlier in the week — in the ESPN article above, Bobby Miller was reported to be that meeting as well — and Ohtani also helped to woo Glasnow to sign an extension with the Dodgers to complete that trade.

The latter, from Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic:

In the video Ohtani expressed that he wished he could share a rotation with Glasnow this season. Ohtani won’t pitch for the Dodgers in 2024 as he recovers from elbow surgery). “But,” the superstar said, “I want to hit some home runs for you.”

Mike Petriello at analyzed the Tyler Glasnow trade and his subsequent contract extension.

“He does not provide the innings this team badly needs, but that’s also not the point, really,” Petriello wrote. “He’s there to be an ace-level starter in October. What he does along the way is almost a bonus.”

The 2023 international signing period ended on Friday, but the Dodgers got one last signing in under the wire, signing 6’4 right-handed pitcher Jose Cabrera.