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Published on December 11, 2023
Shohei Ohtani Strikes Gold: Inks Historic $700M Deal with Dodgers, Tops MLB's Richest Contract EverSource: Mogami Kariya, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In what's being hailed as the mother of all contracts in professional sports history, Shohei Ohtani has reportedly inked a staggering $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The former Angels standout, who has turned heads with his dual-threat capabilities, is making a short trip down the I-5 to join his new team, effectively obliterating previous Major League Baseball contract records, as per Daily News.

Hailed as a historic acquisition, the Dodgers have nabbed Ohtani with an offer that not only smashes the ceiling of sports deals, but does so in a fashion that resonates with extraordinary deferrals. These deferrals, intentionally structured by Ohtani, aim to assist the Dodgers both in terms of cash flow and luxury tax implications, according to a source mentioned by Daily News. In a stunning revelation, the Dodgers sign Ohtani, revealing the news via his social media page that shook the sports world on Saturday.

According to CBS Sports, the two-time AL MVP, whose sporting prowess on the mound and the plate had teams lining up for his signature, has surpassed Mike Trout's former benchmark of a 12-year, $426 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Andrew Brandt, a professor of sports law at Villanova Law School, highlighted to CBS Sports that Ohtani had "extraordinary leverage with many teams interested and bidding the price up." This isn't your run-of-the-mill contract signing; this is the equivalent of winning the sports lottery, elevating Ohtani as the world's highest paid athlete per CBS Sports.

The magnitude of Ohtani's ten-year gig with the Dodgers not only secures his spot atop the athlete pay scale hierarchy but also sends a clear statement about the franchise's commitment to excellence. It's a signal, loud and clear, that the team is sparing no expense to bolster their star-studded lineup. "This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player," stated Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo, as the Bombers of Brooklyn look to squeeze every ounce of value from their newest asset, who, after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament, won't be throwing heat from the mound until at least 2025 as per Daily News.

Outshining his peers with the heftiest paycheck in the big leagues, Ohtani joins a lineup featuring All-Stars like Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. Yet, while Ohtani's bat is expected to crack from the get-go in 2024, fans will have to wait with bated breath to witness his pitching prowess post-recovery. Under the shadow of his injury, the Japanese phenom's future as a pitcher might be hazy, but one thing's for sure, his impact on ticket sales, sponsorships, and merchandising is anticipated to remain as clear as day.