Connect with us

Sports

Shohei Ohtani’s $700 million contract crushes MLB, North American records

Published

on

Shohei Ohtani’s free agency has captivated Major League Baseball’s (MLB) fans and teams alike ever since the offseason started. And it all resulted in a record-breaking 10-year, $700 million deal that propelled the league’s one-of-a-kind two-way star atop the list of the sport’s highest-paid players of all-time.

The 29-year-old announced on his Instagram account on Saturday that he’s staying in Los Angeles for his playing future, but trading in his Angels uniform for some Dodger blue.

“To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision,” Ohtani said in his Instagram post breaking the news. “I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team…To all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself. Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers but for the baseball world.”

The Dodgers won the sweepstakes for Ohtani’s services by paying out a contract fitting for a transcendent player. The three-time All-Star is the first player in baseball history to be named unanimous MVP on two occasions. During a 2023 campaign shortened by a torn ulnar collateral ligament, Ohtani led the American League in home runs (44) and OPS (1.066) while also posting a 3.14 ERA on the mound.

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels is seen at RingCentral Coliseum on September 2 in Oakland, California. Ohtani has signed a record-breaking contract to join the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images/Getty Images

And now, the modern-day Babe Ruth joins two other MVPs—Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman—in the lineup at Dodger Stadium.

“A big thank you to Shohei for deciding to wear Dodger blue,” Earvin “Magic” Johnson, a part owner of the Dodgers, wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I know all Dodger fans around the world are extremely happy and excited that you decided to join our organization and we welcome you to Dodger nation.”

Ohtani’s contract is believed to be the largest worldwide in sports history, according to the MLB, surpassing soccer superstar Lionel Messi’s $674 million deal with FC Barcelona from 2017-21.

The deal passes that of now former Angels teammate Mike Trout for the largest in baseball history, and puts Ohtani well ahead of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for the greatest—in terms of total value—in North American team sports. Ohtani’s $70 million average salary eclipses the previous MLB record of $43.3 and is more than the 2023 Opening Day payrolls of the Baltimore Orioles ($60.9 million) and Oakland Athletics ($56.9 million), per ESPN.

“This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player,” Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo of CAA Sports, said in a statement. “Shohei is thrilled to be a part of the Dodgers organization. He is excited to begin this partnership, and he structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success. 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.”

Read more sports news from Newsweek

Largest Contracts in MLB History

Ohtani is now well ahead of Trout as the highest-paid player in baseball in terms of total contract value. The two-way star became MLB’s first player with a contract exceeding $500 million, doing so with plenty of room to spare.

These are the 10 largest deals, by overall value, in MLB history, according to Spotrac.

1. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Dodgers DH/SP—10 years, $700 million

2. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels OF—12 years, $426.5 million

3. Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers OF—12 years, $365 million

4. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees OF—9 years, $360 million

5. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres 3B—11 years, $350 million

6. Francisco Lindor, New York Mets SS—10 years, $341 million

7. Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres OF—14 years, $340 million

8. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies OF/1B—13 years, $330 million

t9. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees OF—13 years, $325 million

t9. Corey Seager, Texas Rangers SS—10 years, $325 million

Largest Contracts in North American Sports History

When Trout signed his record-breaking deal in 2019, he became the first athlete in North American sports history to eclipse $350 million. Mahomes later passed Trout by becoming the highest-paid athlete in North America. However, that title now belongs to Ohtani.

Among the top-10 highest-paid athletes in North America by total contract value, eight of them are baseball players, per USA Today, with the newest Dodger at the top of the list.

1. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Dodgers DH/SP—10 years, $700 million

2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs QB—10 years, $503 million

3. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels OF—12 years, $426.5 million

t4. Canelo Álvarez, Boxer (DAZN)—5 years, $365 million

t4. Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers OF—12 years, $365 million

6. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees OF—9 years, $360 million

7. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres 3B—11 years, $350 million

8. Francisco Lindor, New York Mets SS—10 years, $341 million

9. Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres OF—14 years, $340 million

10. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies OF/1B—13 years, $330 million