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MLB Offseason Round Up: 700 Million Reasons Shohei Ohtani Chose Dodgers

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Shohei Ohtani, Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB offseason

This is one in a series of daily articles highlighting the latest news and notes from the MLB offseason. 

The biggest news of the MLB offseason finally happened, and it was even bigger than anticipated. Shohei Ohtani announced on his Instagram that he is signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sure, many projected Ohtani to the Dodgers. It was a natural fit. But very few people would have predicted the 10 year, $700 million contract he landed. It’s the richest contract in sports history.

For context, the Pirates opened last season with a payroll of roughly $73 million. Though Ohtani’s deal is heavy in deferrals, his $70 million average annual salary nearly matches the entire Pirates’ payroll from opening day last season. That’s pretty wild to think about.

It’s an unprecedented deal for an unprecedented player. Ohtani is someone the world of baseball has not seen before. Ever. The two-way sensation is an All-Star caliber pitcher. He’s even better at the plate.

His abilities both as a pitcher and as a hitter are why he already has two MVPs, three All-Star selections and a Rookie of the Year on his resumé.

Ohtani will not pitch this year after undergoing his second surgery to repair the UCL in his pitching arm. Even though it’s a massive investment despite the risk, it’s hard to envision it not working out for the Dodgers. Ohtani is that special.

10 years. $700 million. It bears repeating. Wow.

Rich Hill Nailed It

I remember a couple of the scribes were talking to Rich Hill in the Pirates’ clubhouse. This was before Hill was traded and before Ohtani got hurt. The veteran left-hander predicted Ohtani would get $700 million.

A fair assessment at the time, I thought there was just no way after the injury. If he would hit that number, I wouldn’t think it would be on a ‘measly’ 10-year deal. I’ll never question Hill again.

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