Shohei Ohtani to receive only $20M upfront from deal with Dodgers

Shohei Ohtani is set to receive only $20 million upfront from his $700 million ten-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The remaining $680 million is deferred with no interest and will be disbursed in equal installments every July 1 from 2034 to 2043.

This setup helps the Dodgers manage their spending. Likewise, by getting most of the money later, Ohtani also benefits from tax advantages, especially since he might not be in the U.S. during the deferred payment period.

"This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player," said Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo.

"He is excited to begin this partnership, and he structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success."

Ohtani's deal breaks the baseball record set by Mike Trout in 2019, who received $426.5 million for a 12-year contract. His average salary is almost double the approximately $42.3 million he earned with the Los Angeles Angels and exceeds the total payrolls of the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics this year.

"He structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success," Balelo said.

“Shohei and I want to thank all the organizations that reached out to us for their interest and respect, especially the wonderful people we got to know even better as this process unfolded.”

Ohtani's achievements

Ohtani's overall career stats showcase a .274 average with 171 homers, 437 RBIs, 86 stolen bases and a 39-19 record with a 3.01 ERA and 608 strikeouts in 481 2/3 innings. With these, the player has a 34.7 WAR, according to Baseball Reference.

Last season, he amassed 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and a .304/.412/.654 slash line. He also led the MLB with a 9.0 fWAR. On the pitching front, Ohtani secured a 10-5 record, a 3.14 ERA, 167 strikeouts and 55 walks over 132.0 innings in 23 starts.

Ohtani has a significant influence on the landscape of modern baseball. His achievements as both a hitter and a pitcher have set him apart as one of the premier players in the majors, making him a global sports icon with a significant impact on ticket sales, TV ratings and sponsorship revenue.

In 2018, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year award despite pitching only once since early June due to an elbow ligament injury.

Over the next two years, he made limited mound appearances while continuing to contribute as the Angels' designated hitter. In 2021, after recovering his arm, Ohtani had a standout season, winning the AL MVP with 46 homers and 100 RBIs, as well as a 9-2 record and a 3.18 ERA as a pitcher.

In 2022, Ohtani improved as a pitcher with a 15-9 record, a 2.33 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. However, he finished behind Aaron Judge in the MVP voting, thanks to Judge's AL record 62 homers.

Following his MVP award in the World Baseball Classic in March, Ohtani continued his two-way brilliance in the latest season. Notably, he hit 44 homers with a career-high 1.066 OPS and went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA before his elbow ligament injury on August 23. He also had to sit out as a hitter after September 3 due to a strained right oblique.