Unique Language In Shohei Ohtani’s Massive Contract Forces Los Angeles Dodgers To Spend Money They’re Saving ASAP
Shohei Ohtani might be the greatest baseball player that ever lived, but there are eight (really nine with a DH) other players in a lineup! No matter how talented he is by himself, his team won’t be competitive without talent around him.
If Ohtani hits four solo home runs and the pitching staff allows five runs, his MLB team will lose. If Ohtani pitches nine shutout innings and the offense doesn’t score, the team cannot win.
According to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, that was a big part of his recent free agency negotiations. Ohtani wanted to ensure that whatever team he chose would be ready to win — now.
That team, of course, is the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ohtani is moving up the road on a monumental 10-year, $700 million deal. It’s record money.
However, Ohtani will receive just $2 million per year for the next decade. The remaining $680 million will be paid (without interest) in the 10 years after his contract expires.
By deferring the vast majority of Ohtani’s deal to the next decade, Los Angeles will be much more flexible in terms of finances. The Dodgers are essentially saving $26 million in luxury tax cost per year by pushing his money back.
That sum will allow them to go after top talent in the free agency market both this year and moving forward if they choose to do so. Technically, the team could have told their new two-way phenom that they plan to spend and then not spend.
Shohei Ohtani reportedly made sure that cannot happen!
A source close to the situation told Verducci that the Japanese superstar and his agent put specific language in his contract to ensure that Los Angeles will use the short-term savings he has granted them to build a competitive roster around him. He isn’t just taking them at their word. It is in writing!