Shohei Ohtani Contract Rumors: Opt-Out Clause Tied To Andrew Friedman & Mark Walter

Aside from Shohei Ohtani’s 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers being the biggest in professional sports history, it’s also the most unique.

The key piece of Ohtani’s contract is $680 million is deferred over the 10 years following his deal with the Dodgers and he will make just $2 million per year over the next 10 years. With no interest being paid on the money owed, the deferrals lower the value of the contract to just shy of $440 million due to inflation, and it decreases the competitive balance tax hit to just north of $46 million.

In addition, Ohtani reportedly received added language in the deal that makes the Dodgers promise to use the savings to build a competitive roster every season, he received the first no-trade clause given out under the current ownership group and front office, and he agreed to donate a portion of his contract to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.

But perhaps the most interesting part of his deal is Ohtani tied his contract to Dodgers controlling owner Mark Walter and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Ohtani has the ability to opt out of his contract if either of them are no longer with the Dodgers, according to Beth Harris and Ronald Blum of The Associated Press:

Ohtani, who will be formally introduced by the Dodgers at a news conference Thursday, would be allowed to terminate his deal if Mark Walter no longer is controlling owner or president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman no longer is with the team, the person said.

Ohtani, who spent his first six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, was likely prioritizing stability with his next organization, which helped lead him to the Dodgers. The two-way superstar was on record about wanting to win with whatever team he picked, and all his contract details show a commitment to that idea.

With the Angels, Ohtani saw numerous changes in the front office and coaching staff, along with club owner Arte Moreno considering a sale of the team. Although a deal never came to fruition, Moreno did go through with putting the team up for sale before backing off and keeping the Angels.

Ohtani also witnessed the Angels fire general manager Billy Eppler and hire Perry Minasian. A significant change in the front office can lead to changes in how the club operates on a day-to-day basis.

Teams also generally only move on from their president of baseball operations or general manager in the event things are going poorly, so for Ohtani, who just wants to win, he gets some assurance he will be in the best position to fulfill his wishes.

Despite the opt-out clause in his contract, it would not be a guarantee Ohtani uses it if either Friedman or Walter are no longer with the Dodgers.

Giants made same contract offer to Shohei Ohtani

While plenty of attention has gone to the Toronto Blue Jays’ purportedly falling just short, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said his team presented Ohtani with a contract offer similar to what he received from the Dodgers.

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