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  • Shiv Sibal

The Big Deal of Baseball

Shohei Ohtani, the two-way superstar from Japan (he both pitches and serves as a designated batter), inked a massive contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that has sent shockwaves through the sporting world. This unprecedented deal secures Ohtani’s future with the Dodgers for the next 10 years and allows him to compete for a World Series right now. His deal is for 700 million dollars over 10 years, the largest contract in American professional sports history by a long shot. It is well deserved because of his fantastic play both on the mound and at the plate.

The Dodgers are committed to winning as many World Series Rings as possible, and they think acquiring the two-time American League MVP will help them accomplish this goal. Ohtani is truly one-of-a-kind. He has revolutionized baseball by being the greatest two-way player the game has ever seen. The Dodgers are paying for both one of the best pitchers and hitters, all in one player. 

Ohtani doesn’t have to move very far to play for the Dodgers. His former team, the Angels, also play in Los Angeles. One of Ohtani’s main motivations for joining the Dodgers is the opportunity to win a championship. He didn’t get this chance when playing for the Angels, because they didn’t notch a single winning season with him on the team. They failed to make the playoffs once with him despite also having Mike Trout, another candidate for best player in MLB 

Ohtani’s contract is so special because it is the most lucrative by a wide margin. The second biggest contract is for 365 million dollars, not a small sum by any means,. Around 97 percent of the money in Ohtani’s contract is deferred. This means that he is not being paid this money now. Instead, he will receive this money from 2034 to 2043. He will still receive a two million dollar annual salary for the ten years he is going to play for the Dodgers.

Ohtani makes a lot more money than just his contract. Since he is an extremely popular athlete and perhaps the most popular baseball player in the world right now, he gets a lot of money from sponsorship deals and endorsements. He is estimated to make around 40 million dollars from these sources each year, so while his contract money is deferred, he will still be making plenty. He had an MLB record 17 sponsorship deals in 2022, and that number will only increase while playing for a far more popular Dodgers team. 

As a Japanese player making waves in Major League Baseball, Ohtani's contract carries cultural significance. It not only reflects his success but also highlights the growing global impact of the sport. The deal may inspire a new generation of players worldwide to dream big and strive for excellence. Baseball is hugely popular in Japan, and Ohtani’s fame there is enormous. Japan won the 2023 World Baseball Classic with Ohtani’s help.

The impact of Ohtani’s contract is not all positive. His contract highlights the need for a salary cap in baseball. Right now, owners are allowed to spend as much money as they want to improve their team. Some teams, like the Oakland Athletics, spend little money on improving their team, making it difficult for them to stay competitive. On the other hand, teams like the Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers splurge on whatever players they want and have payrolls almost 8 times higher than the Oakland A’s. This gives these teams an unfair advantage and allows them to stay perpetually competitive. 

In conclusion, Shohei Ohtani's new contract is more than a financial agreement; it's a transformative force in baseball. By recognizing and rewarding his unique skills, the Dodgers have not only secured a vital asset for their team but have also set the stage for a new era in player contracts and the evolving landscape of America's pastime. As we witness the impact of this groundbreaking deal unfold, one thing is clear: Ohtani's influence extends far beyond his play, shaping the future of baseball itself.


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