Shohei Ohtani is one of baseball’s best hitters, while also being an excellent starting pitcher. The two-way superstar is one of a kind, and it took a record contract for the Dodgers to sign him.
The Dodgers agreed to terms with Ohtani on a 10-year deal worth $700 million, shattering MLB records for total contract value and average annual salary.
“To all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself. Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers but for the baseball world,” Ohtani said in a December 9, 2023 Instagram post that announced his pact with Los Angeles.
“Clearly Shohei is our top priority,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on December 5 at the winter meetings in Nashville.
Ohtani won American League MVP honors in 2023, his second such award in three years, sandwiching a second-place finish in 2022. Ohtani over the previous three seasons with the Angels hit .277/.379/.585 with 124 home runs and a 157 wRC+, while also putting up a 2.84 ERA and 151 ERA+ over 428⅓ innings.
The record contract, which sent shockwaves throughout the baseball world, includes a stunning $680 million in deferred money, which will reduce the average annual value of the deal for competitive balance tax purposes to roughly $46 million per year.
“This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player,” said Nez Balelo, Ohtani’s agent, in a statement after the agreement was announced.
Ohtani’s contract will last until 2033.