The Los Angeles Dodgers have come out on top in the competition to reach at terms with Shohei Ohtani, baseball’s extraordinary two-way star, to one of the richest contracts in the history of sports.
As indicated by several news sources, the two-time American League MVP announced on Instagram he had “decided to pick the Dodgers” as his next team. The historic agreement is worth $700 million and will be signed for ten years.
The Japanese baseball star, who bats and pitches as a designated hitter, would be traded from the American League’s Los Angeles Angels to the National League West’s Los Angeles Dodgers, winners of 10 of the last 11 division titles.
The star’s free agency has been the discussion of town lately, as his agreement is apparently the most expensive in North American games history and in the world. In an Instagram post, he confirmed the arrangement. Ohtani wrote:
“To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.
“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process. Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.
“And 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.
“There are some things that cannot be conveyed in writing, so I would like to talk more about this again at a later press conference.
“Thank you very much”
Ohtani has played for the Los Angeles Angels since he originally moved to the MLB in 2017. Ahead of his free agency, other teams have been lining up to get the signature of the 29-year-old Japanese star, who had remained quiet about the fate of his profession.
After going through elbow surgery, he won’t pitch again until 2025 and will just act as an assigned hitter in 2024.
If completed, the deal would be one of the biggest athlete contracts in sports history.
“This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player,” Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo said, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Shohei Ohtani structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success.
According to Spotrac, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has the most expensive contract in the NFL, worth $450 million over 10 years.
In the NBA, Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets) and Bradley Beal (Phoenix Suns) all have five-year contracts worth more than $250 million, per Spotrac.
Lionel Messi’s contract at MLS team Inter Miami is worth between $50 and $60 million per year, part-owner Jorge Mas told Spanish publication El País earlier this year, while the Argentine star was on a $672 million contract between 2017 and 2021 while playing for Barcelona.
Messi’s long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is reportedly on a two-and-a-half year contract estimated by media to be worth more than 200 million euros ($220.16 million) at Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.