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Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels

Shohei Ohtani, one of the top talents in the MLB today, announced a new deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend that has baseball fans stunned and reacting to the big news in various ways. Shohei Ohtani signed with the Dodgers for 10 years and $700 million, a cause of concern for some considering the two-play superstar has had surgeries.

ESPN reports Ohtani, 29, will sign with the Dodgers and while an official breakdown from the team about the contract is still presumably in the works, an outlet of ESPN’s stature wouldn’t come forth with their additional report without confirming some facts. With the deal, Ohtani, who hails from Japan, was awarded the richest contract in North American sports ever.

“Shohei Ohtani’s deal with the Dodgers is for 10 years and $700 million,” wrote ESPN’s Jeff Passan via X, formerly Twitter. He added, “Shohei Ohtani’s contract has significant deferrals that include most of his salary — an idea, a source said, that was Ohtani’s. In deferring the money, it reduces the cost of the competitive-balance-tax hit and will allow the Dodgers to build a better team around him.”

The news was big enough that even Shams Charania, who typically breaks news on the NBA, had to share with his massive audience the size and scope of the deal.

Ohtani’s credentials as a pitcher and DH cannot be put under scrutiny as he’s proven over the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani has won the AL MVP twice and did so unanimously this past season with a .304 batting average along with 44 home runs and 95 RBIs. He also started 23 games as a pitcher, winning 10 games with a 3.14 ERA. With the Angels, Ohtani’s numbers have averaged 30 home runs and 90 RBIs.

In addition to his talent, concerns have been raised around Ohtani getting a version of Tommy John surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament tear. It is the second surgery he’s had over the past five years according to reports. Still, Ohtani is on track to resume his dominance on the diamond, and given that he has the highest-selling jersey among MLB players, he’ll have several adoring Dodgers fans sporting the apparel here in the States and abroad.

As mentioned above, Ohtani shared the news first with his 6 million fans on Instagram but didn’t share a ton of details.

From Instagram:

First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process. Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.

Check out reactions from MLB Twitter below.

Photo: John McCoy / Getty