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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Shohei Ohtani signs with Dodgers for stunning amount of money

Shohei Ohtani in a red Angels uniform

Aug 8, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) watches from the dugout in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani has made his free agent decision, and he set a record in doing so.

Ohtani announced on social media Saturday that he has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a message, he apologized for “taking so long to come to a decision,” and also thanked the Los Angeles Angels for the last six years of his career.

Just as big a deal as the destination is the money involved.

Ohtani’s agents reported that the two-way star would receive a 10-year contract worth $700 million, the largest guarantee in sports history. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that a significant amount of the money on Ohtani’s contract is deferred at his request, which will give the Dodgers more flexibility to add other players without having to pay as large of a luxury tax bill. There are also no opt-outs included in the deal, so Ohtani’s deal is guaranteed for a full decade.

Everyone knew Ohtani would get paid, and that $500 million was the baseline for what could be expected. The Dodgers clearly went above and beyond, but it is hard to argue that he will not be worth it.

The Dodgers had been viewed all along as Ohtani’s most likely destination, both due to their track record of contending and their deep financial resources. They also need pitching, and while Ohtani will not be able to help in that regard in 2024 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, one would expect him to return as a starter in 2025.

On Friday, there were reports suggesting that Ohtani was planning to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays, sparking an immense firestorm of interest. Those rumors obviously turned out to be erroneous.

In the end, the Dodgers have their man.

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