Shohei Ohtani announced on his own Instagram that he intends to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a reported 10-year contract worth $700 million.
Ohtani is set to receive the richest contract in the history of American sports to join one of Major League Baseball’s most storied franchises.
The Dodgers refrained from handing out large contracts in recent years with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expressing a great deal of patience in his pursuit, and it paid off.
The two-time Most Valuable Player joins Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, creating arguably the best trio in MLB. Friedman had been determined to land Ohtani, dating back to his time in Japan.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke of Ohtani and how impactful of an individual he is at the MLB Winter Meetings, prior to the two-way star announcing his 10-year deal on Saturday, via MLB Network:
“I think that now he’s a free agent, I can talk about Shohei and what a talent he is. And it’s just a once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-generation, and even beyond that, type of player and person. So, I don’t know the timing. He and his representation, they’re going to kind of make the decision when they see fit. But obviously, here in Nashville, it’s almost like everyone is waiting for that one big domino to fall, to see kind of where everyone else lands and follows suit. But, again, any team, organization, fan base that would be lucky enough to have him, it’s going to be a huge upgrade. And what an opportunity, we’re all excited and we’re all kind of keeping our fingers crossed.”
Roberts’ comments about meeting with Ohtani created quite the media buzz, but it was a snippet into how deep the affinity is for what the superstar brings.
The 29-year-old was believed to be making his decision based on the organization’s culture, desire to win, and sustainability. The Dodgers check all those boxes, which made them an attractive destination for Ohtani.
Although he isn’t expected to pitch until the 2025 season as he recovers from elbow surgery, his impact will still be tremendous for the organization in 2024.
Dodgers reaction to Shohei Ohtani signing
Shortly following the announcement, Walker Buehler, Gavin Lux and Freddie Freeman expressed a great deal of excitement over the addition of Ohtani. Buehler joked that Ohtani had named his dog after him or the Dodgers.
Lux mentioned that he was awoken from a nap to the news and Freeman said that Saturday was a great day for Dodgers fans.
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