Sho Me The Money 💰

12/11/2023 Sho Me The Money 💰

By: Jeff Yoder

Shohei Ohtani Signs World’s Largest Sports Contract With Los Angeles Dodgers: 10-Years, $700 Million

$700 Million… The largest contract in sports history is here. That once belonged to Lionel Messi. Then Cristiano Ronaldo. Then Kylian Mbappe. Enter Shohei Ohtani’s free agency frenzy. The two-way superstar signed a 10-year, $700 million deal on Saturday and sent the entire (sports) world into chaos. Let’s recap what happened.


Friday: Rumor Mill Gone Crazy

After a long week of MLB Winter Meetings, every baseball writer on Earth was in a constant “refresh feed” frenzy as the rumors swirled. Reports of Ohtani signing with the Toronto Blue Jays picked up steam. Some rumors claimed he was spotted on a flight to Toronto. Blue Jays bloggers were confirming the news. Rapper Drake (the Toronto-native) was seen in a Blue Jays No. 17 Ohtani jersey. Suspicion grew. Was the plane diverting to Chicago (Cubs)? Could he even return to the Angels? Was it going to be the Giants after all? Social media was ablaze with conspiracy theories. On Saturday, a simple Instagram post from Ohtani himself brought all the answers.


Saturday: Ohtani’s Announcement

“To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.” In typical Ohtani form, he wasn’t about the flare and pageantry. No over-the-top, “take my talents to ____ (blank)” press conference. Just a grainy, low-resolution Dodgers logo posted to his Instagram account. I love it. Ohtani went on to thank the Angels organization for the past six years and pledge his dedication to the Dodgers for the rest of his playing career. He’ll be 39 when his contract ends in 2033.


Ohtani’s Hall of Fame Trajectory

If you’re reading The Sportsletter, you’re probably a sports fan who needs little introduction to Ohtani’s rising star. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound two-way icon is already a candidate for the “best baseball player ever” depending on who you ask. He’s won two unanimous MVPs (never been done before) with an Angels franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in his six-year tenure. And that desire to be on a playoff team is likely what pulled him to the Dodgers. The move allows the Japanese superhero to stay in L.A. and join a competitive roster that becomes instant World Series favorites. Start adding some rings and playoff moments to Ohtani’s resume, and he’s on the fast-track for Cooperstown.


Ohtani’s Career Stats (6 Seasons)

Batting: .274 Avg. | 171 HRs | 437 RBIs | 86 SBs | .922 OPS

Pitching: 38-19 Record | 3.01 ERA | 608 Ks

*2-Time Unanimous MVP (2021 & 2023)

*3-Time All-Star (2021-2023)


Sho Me the Money 💰

Now, to the deal. The contract that made Earth stop turning is still hard to fathom. A whopping 10 years and $700 million equates to $70 million per year — an annual salary that’s never been seen before in American sports and an overall figure that’s higher than any player in any team sport in the history of the world. Here’s a look at the top-5 largest overall contracts in sports history, and the top-5 baseball contracts ever signed.


Top-5 Sports Contracts of All-Time

1. Shohei Ohtani (Dodgers): $700 Million

2. Kylian Mbappe (PSG): $679 Million

3. Lionel Messi (Barcelona): $674 Million

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr): $500 Million

5. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs): $450 Million


Top-5 MLB Contracts of All-Time

1. Shohei Ohtani (Dodgers): $700 Million

2. Mike Trout (Angels): $426.5 Million

3. Mookie Betts (Dodgers): $365 Million

4. Aaron Judge (Yankees): $360 Million

5. Manny Machado (Padres): $350 Million


The Ohtani sweepstakes are finally over, and the Dodgers are the biggest winners of the MLB offseason (and the decade ahead). Shohei Ohtani in Dodger Blue? Can’t wait.


Read More

The Athletic: The Dodgers Got Shohei Ohtani. What’s Next?

FOX Sports: Shohei Ohtani’s World About to Change On & Off the Field With Dodgers

The Ringer: Shohei Ohtani’s $700 Million Dodgers Contract is Unlike Anything in MLB History

USA Today: Why Shohei Ohtani Will be Worth Every Penny of $700 Million Contract for Dodgers


Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images