Shohei Ohtani reaches record deal with Dodgers

League: MLB

Posted on: 10 Dec, 2023 at 12:40 AM

Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani announced Saturday that he has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The two-way star shared the decision on his Instagram page.

According to reports, he received a 10-year, $700 million deal from the Dodgers. The contract is the largest in baseball history.

The Japanese-born Ohtani, a two-time unanimous American League MVP, wrote the following on his Instagram page:

"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's deal tops the previous record of $426 million over 12 years that his former Angels teammate Mike Trout received in March of 2019.

"This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player," Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo of CAA Sports, said via statement. "Shohei is thrilled to be a part of the Dodgers organization. He is excited to begin this partnership, and he structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success. Shohei and I want to thank all the organizations that reached out to us for their interest and respect, especially the wonderful people we got to know even better as this process unfolded.

"We know fans, media and the entire industry had a high degree of interest in this process, and we want to express our appreciation for their passion and their consideration as it played out."

The Toronto Blue Jays were one of the teams that aggressively pursued Ohtani. The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs also were reportedly interested.

Ohtani, 29, won his second AL MVP award this past season when he batted .304 with an AL-leading 44 homers with 95 RBIs in 135 games with the Los Angeles Angels. He led the AL with a .412 on-base percentage and led the majors with a .654 slugging percentage.

As a pitcher, Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and recorded 167 strikeouts over 132 innings (23 starts). He limited opposing batters to a .184 average.

Ohtani's pitching efforts ended after he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Aug. 23. The three-time All-Star continued playing as a batter until sustaining an oblique injury on Sept. 3.

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-September for the second time and isn't expected to pitch in 2024. He also had the procedure in the fall of 2018.

Despite smacking 171 homers and going 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA as a pitcher, Ohtani didn't play in a single playoff game during his six seasons in Anaheim.

The Angels will receive a draft pick following the second round of the 2024 draft as compensation due to Ohtani turning down their qualifying offer.

--Field Level Media