Shohei Ohtani Signs Record-Breaking Contract with Los Angeles Dodgers: A Historic Deal for a Unique and Historic Player

Over the weekend, Japanese baseball player Shohei Ohtani announced that his next team will be the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he signed the richest new contract in the history of North American professional sports. “It’s a unique and historic contract for a unique and historic player,” his agent said. Ohtani will in fact receive around 700 million dollars over the next ten years, on the basis of an agreement which, in terms of compensation, exceeds any other contract signed so far in North America and has equals only in football, where, however, the compensation remains rather unclear: of the 674 million dollars received by Lionel Messi in Barcelona between 2017 and 2021, for example, we only learned from a leak.

In North America, the previous contract that guaranteed the highest overall amount to a single player was the $450 million contract for ten years (around $45 million per season) signed in 2020 by quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the Kansas City Chiefs. The two highest paid professionals annually were Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (53.5 million dollars) and Lamar Jackson, quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens (52 million). Ohtani will receive around 70 per season, which multiplied over ten years will far exceed the current largest contract in the Major League, the North American baseball championship: the $430 million for 12 years signed in 2019 by Mike Trout , at this point Ohtani’s former teammate at the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.

The exceptional nature of this contract is due to the unique characteristics of Ohtani, whose arrival from Japan brought the rare figure of the so-called two-way player, that is, that player who is not only capable of both batting and pitching, but who does both with very high returns: in the case of Ohtani comparable only to those of Babe Ruth, legendary player of the New York Yankees and of baseball for a century does. Ohtani’s peculiarity had already become evident when he played in Japan – where he once managed to hit a home run that pierced the roof of the Tokyo Dome, the national baseball stadium – and this is why there has been a lot of talk about him since his I arrived in the United States five years ago.

Since then, Ohtani has been named Rookie of the Year in his first Major League season, a two-time best player in the American League (one of the two leagues that make up the Major League) and a cover man for The Showthe video game that is like baseball FIFA (not FC) is about football. Last spring he won the Baseball World Cup with Japan, beating the United States in the final and also being elected best player of the tournament.

Now, at 29 years old, he is ready to enter the best phase of his career, which the Dodgers have secured by paying an unprecedented sum. In fact, up until now the only thing Ohtani had lacked was a competitive team to play for, given that with the Angels he had never even managed to get to the playoffs, the decisive and most followed phase of the baseball season.

For the Dodgers, this deal could pay off on both the business and sporting sides. In fact, the player already has a huge following in Japan and in the United States he can only increase, considering that he does not yet speak English well and from now on he will play in the reference team of a city that has global relevance in sport. On the field, however, the Dodgers could begin a long series of successes: they were already among the most competitive teams in the championship and in the last six years they have played in three finals, but only won one.

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2023-12-11 10:02:46
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