The Cincinnati Reds did not sign Shohei Ohtani. You almost assuredly already knew that. But he did sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers and he did so for an amount of money that is so large that I audibly laughed multiple times while on a phone call to tell my best friend about it. Ohtani, the best baseball player who has ever lived and is essentially what Steve Nebraska was in a fictional story, signed a 10-year deal with the Dodgers for $700,000,000.

There are a few things worth noting about the contract, though. It does not include any opt outs. Why would Ohtani ever want to opt out of that deal? Crazy talk. But the Dodgers didn’t get any team options at any point in it, either. And perhaps you could argue that at some point they may want that.

But the other part that is worth noting is that there are deferrals long after the 10-years are up. How much money he will be getting in each season over the next decade is unknown. It was reported that Ohtani wanted that in order to allow the Dodgers to be better off when it comes to payroll and the luxury tax and all of that. In fact, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “the majority of Ohtani’s salary” is deferred. We’ll probably have to wait and see what those numbers actually look like, but that sounds crazy.

In 2024 Shohei Ohtani will only be used as a designated hitter as he recovers from his second Tommy John surgery. He is expected to return to the mound at some point.

Now, to bring this all back around and somehow tie it into the Reds…. here’s what now former Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto had as a reaction to the news when he saw it:



195 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    Just figured that enough people probably wanted to talk about this deal, so I wrote a tad about it. Have fun. Play nice.

  2. Kevin H

    On one hand he is a great player. Maybe greatest of all time when all said and done.

    On other hand these contracts are crazy outrageous.


    • Colorado Red

      Top few defiantly
      The Babe hit more HR’s in some years, then entire teams.
      Othani, may be as high as 2.

      MLB needs to institute a new rule, that deferred money, is not counted when paid, but on Average Value of contract.

      • MK

        Really why should there be a Rule? Who cares other than the two parties involved.

  3. Melvin

    I think this is one time I’m in agreement with Big Bob in not making this deal. 😀

    • redfanorbust

      Ha yeah Big Bob and 95% of the rest of the league.

      • west larry

        I believe the Giants and Blue Jays would have matched that offer if given a chance. I believe Otani wanted o play for the dodgers because they almost always seen to get into the playoffs, and he likes the area. He played for the angels for six years, and they never sniffed the playoffs.

      • MK

        …and he has a mansion in LA area already, plus LAX has direct flights to Japan.

  4. Jedi Joey

    MLB needs a salary cap and floor

    • Colorado Red

      Players union will not agree to it.
      they care more about the best of the best, and not about the lower level players.

      • redfanorbust

        and the smaller market teams…

      • BK

        At some point enough small market owners are going to force a strike if they keep getting the shaft. Also, if anyone every educates the players that the majority of them are getting the shaft from contracts, there would be an uprising.

      • Jayce

        Which is the absurdity of calling it a union.

      • Doug Gray

        Owners would also never agree to it (in a scenario where it’s set up like an NBA/NFL model where the ceiling and floor were very close to each other instead of something like $100M floor and $250M ceiling).

  5. Optimist

    It is interesting – puts the Pagan and Martinez deals in perspective. The vanishing point of the perspective, but the perspective nonetheless.

  6. Gaffer

    The deferrals and whether he can pitch are the key factors. If say 400 million is payed over the next 20 years after the contract that is really more like a $50,ooo,ooo deal in real money which is the top of the current market.

    • BK

      Yep, we really need to see the present value of this deal to make good comparisons.

      • Gaffer

        It’s only $46 million annual value!

  7. LDS

    Absurd. What is the Dodgers marginal revenue from signing, even if they win the series? I thought the Dodgers TB contract was crazy. This makes that look like a bargain.

  8. J

    Exactly… The fact the Dodgers were already loaded and can add a 10 year $700 million deal is just nuts !! It makes me LOVE the term ” competitive balance ” lmao.. A Floor & cap is how you get closer to balanced competition lmao

  9. DaveCT

    Mostly deferred … Ohtani, meet Mr. Griffey.

    That the bottomless wallet of the Dodgers is deferring that vast amount of the contract is not just a “gilded age” ethical issue, it’s actually a legitimate risk of crisis — like the NYY, the Dodgers are “too big to fail.”

    Manfred is facing a huge risk, and he likely doesn’t care. Because, well, Vegas money is Vegas money.

    Yeah I said it. Gambling money in sports has officially taken over.

    • DaveCT

      Case in point, the F1 race in Vegas

      The average monthly haul for Vegas is reportedly around 650 million.

      The F1 race, alone, brought in 1.7 BILLION.

      These aren’t gramma’s craps tables.

      It’s stunning.

      • Doug Gray


        I’d need to see an actual economist say this. This feels like a lot of those things people say about how “we have to build this pro franchise a stadium because they bring in/retain this big number of dollars” when every economic study that’s ever existed shows how much of a lie that is.

  10. Mark Moore

    I consider it absurd but not surprising. I’m sure they’ll insure it. No idea who would write that policy.

    It’s out of control IMO.

    • Colorado Red

      Yes, but 12 years from now, the Dodgers are still paying him a ton of money.
      Not sure if there is a policy for not. Dodgers probably just owe it.

    • west larry

      Think of the money the dodgers will achieve (in ads and specials featuring Otani) with Otani’s international status. also, Betts and Freeman have already deferred most of their money so that the dodgers can sign more players. Think Junior The difference is that the dodgers will spend that money.

      • MK

        Same Market as Angels, would have to assume many marketing ideas have been utilized already.. Plus, it isn’t like he moved to some place like Atlanta where few people have had an opportunity to see him play.

    • MK

      Loyd’s of London provides most of that type of insurance.

      Maybe in changed but in the past teams were forced to purchase a guaranteed annuity that provided the long term payouts, however much they are supposed to be and when they start.

      I once heard the Indians chief financial officer talk about the annuity they purchased ten years before that was still paying John Denny $100 per month.

      If that is the case the Dodgers have already paid that portion of the contract, just as the Reds have done for Griffey and Mets for Bobby Bonilla, etc.

      An agent wouldn’t let his client sign a contract that wasn’t secure. If the Dodgers go bankrupt Ohtani’s contract is secure.

  11. Hotto4Votto

    If 1 WAR is still worth roughly $8m on the open market, Ohtani accrued 10 bWAR last season. By that he may be under paid. (I don’t think he is, it’s almost absurd he’ll make more AAV than some clubs spend on their entire roster)

    • Justin T

      He isnt pitching this year so his war goes down considerably

    • Doug Gray

      I think that it is. But Ohtani’s a different dude, too. Unlike anyone else in the game, he is bringing in different kind of money beyond just what he can do on the field. You can’t exactly calculate that, but it’s there and it’s probably not insignificant, either. Every Dodgers game is going to be broadcast in Japan. They’ll be able to sell more sponsorships/ads both here and in Japan, and be able to sell them for higher prices simply because of him being there, too.

      From a business standpoint I’d love to see the actual numbers.

      But it’s also interesting to wonder about how much money is deferred, and how long it’s deferred to.

      • Optimist

        I suspect this is basically a 450-500M contract, but the Japanese aspects push it to 700M or more. Both the TV rights in Japan, and the domestic fanbase of ethnic Japanese (and even fans of the CPBL and KBO).

        Still – a total whale of a contract.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Good thoughts and info. Thanks for chiming in (everyone)

      • Jeremiah

        I agree, I think this actually about money and image as much as it is about winning for the Dodgers. I know they want to win , but I actually think it’s more about the attention, having the most popular player in the game, growing their brand world wide. It feels a little Hollywood, winning the big ticket, becoming one of the top 5 sports recognized franchises in the world, as much as it feels like they just really want to win World Series’ to me.

    • Andy

      I very much doubt he’d be underpaid. If I assume he generates $30M/year over life of contract in extra retail/broadcast revenue, he would still need to generate 50War over life of contract (assuming your 1War=$8M ratio). I’ll predict he generates average 2War/yr over the last 4 years of contract, so he’d need to generate 42 War over first 6 season, or average of 7. At least one of those years (the first year, which you would normally count on for the greatest production) will not include pitching. Is it impossible? No, he could do it. I really doubt it though.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I doubt he’d end up underpaid too. Was really just commenting on what his value supposedly is on the open market. FA are paid moreso for what they’ve accomplished than what they’re projected to be worth down the line. Even without pitching Ohtani was at 6 bWAR, or roughly valued at about $48m. Can he keep that up through the length of his contract? Unlikely. If he returns to pitching as effectively as before, possibly his combined WAR would be around that level. Combined with the 25-30m in added revenue a year from the Japanese market and even with lower overall average production it is likely that the Dodgers will receive good value on this deal. But they’re taking on an incredible amount of risk.

  12. MBS

    Last year the top 10 payrolls were in the $200M+ range, and 3 more were in the $180M range. Anyone who thinks we can win with a sub $100M payroll is fooling themselves. We might catch lightning in a bottle one year, but we can not have sustained success with a payroll less than $150M. Before you say “but the Rays” tell me how many rings they have?

    We’re currently $77M, lets add some more arms and get to $110M range this year, leaving room to grow in 25, and 26.

    • BK

      I agree, but the reality is that contracts like this may lead to small market teams spending less, or at least avoiding the higher AAV/more than 3-year contracts. If you literally can’t afford to the best players, perhaps the best strategy is to build through the farm and stay nimble financially so you can take on payroll in spurts, timed with perceived winning windows.

      Prior to this contract, I would say that risk from a bad contract was the burden small market teams had to overcome. I honestly don’t think there are but a handful of teams that could make this deal if the present value approaches $700M. This has shown the gulf between larger and smaller market teams has greatly expanded–exactly what I expected/predicted from the current CBA.

      • David

        A handful of teams that could handle this deal?

        I would say likely just two.

        The Dodgers and the Yankees. Ohtani may end up delivering this much value to the Dodgers, but honestly, this is an incredible financial risk for the Dodgers to take on. What if the Dodgers don’t make it to the World Series now? What if they just make it into the playoffs and then lose out again like this year?
        There is a certain insane quality to this….but maybe the Dodgers have also factored in the depreciating value of dollars in the years to come.

        And who else will want to demand such an immense contract in the future?

    • 2020ball

      But the rays bro

      Just pointing to their ring count is an awful way to evaluate that team. Not only is it an expansion franchise, first and foremost, but also theyve had sustained success despite a tiny payroll. Thats a successful franchise no matter how much you try and pittle on it. Just pointing to rings isnt telling the whole story, and IMO is a very weak argument you hear far too often from many ball sport fans.

      • MBS

        bro, The Rays have been as successful as you can hope with their strategy. I’m not saying the Rays haven’t been good, but they haven’t won it. Arizona was an expansion team the same year 1998, and they won the WS in 2001.

        Ring count is the only measure for success, all others forms of measurements are coping mechanisms for the fans.

      • greenmtred

        I really disagree. Winning the WS is so often dependent upon luck and unexpected performance–a blot of spoiled gravy, bit of underdone beef. Sustained excellence gives a team the best chance of catching the lucky magic.

      • MBS

        We all got our opinions, but do you think the Yankee’s, Red Sox’s, or Cardinals fans would agree with you? It’s the small market thinking that we’re all subject to.

        The Cardinals are cream of the crop for small market teams. I also like what the Ray’s have done. I’d love to find the right mix of Cards and Rays for the Reds.

      • Justin T

        The Rays have sustained sucess which is mire difficult than catching lightning in a bottle and winning a ring (royals a few years back). Once youre in, anything can happen. Even though i measure success in rings also, i also realize the Rays have been in position to win a couple.

        I also think it isnt very useful to use them as an example because they have a lot of talent in the evaluation dept and have shown to be elite in that area. As much as the Reds are trying, the jury is out still. They traded away elite talent to get the young core players they have which is what you are supposed to get when you trade away such talent. It has
        not translated to many wins at the big league level, but should this coming season. The Rays find young talent everywhere. To compare the Reds to the Rays at this point is wishful thinking. The Krall fans fail to factor what he traded away to acquire the young guys. Not every day you trade away 2 Cy Young contenders off your pitching staff.

    • Jayce

      The money isn’t proportional to success and this is basic rule. Young controlled players are some of the most productive. Look what the Reds spent on last year and where the WAR came from, not Votto, Griffey, Moustakas and Myers. Votto was still arbitration player when he won MVP. It would be foolish for the Reds to try to imitate bigger payrolls and they don’t have to, has nothing to do with their viable strategy. I will honestly be pissed if they trade anything of value for full price Glasnow, total ripoff. TB paid him 5M last year.

  13. Nick in NKY

    Argh. I commented on the last thread just before this post went up. I’m gonna repeat here though, because I’m interested in seeing other opinions on this.

    Seven. Hundred. Million. Beans. The mind struggles.
    Serious question. What’s more risky?

    One of MLB’s evil empire big money clubs signing Ohtani for the better part of a billion dollars, much of it deferred?


    A small market club signing an 8 or ten year extension for 70 or 80 million to an obviously talented, but not yet entirely proven young star?

    While the sheer number is staggering, (assuming Ohtani doesn’t have a catastrophic breakdown of some kind) I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it’s a good deal for the Dodgers. Putting Shohei behind Betts and Freeman every third inning is about as close to buying a WS trophy as you can actually get. If they win it all once or twice in the next decade this deal will probably have been worth it. If in 100 years, baseball fans think Ohtani and imagine him in a Dodgers uniform, like the Babe in a Yankees uniform, the deal will probably have been worth it. All of that without even touching on his appeal to the Japanese fanbase and market. Or if he makes it back to the rotation next season. I’m all for extending worthy young players in an attempt to provide value and continuity when warranted, I just don’t think this deal is as ridiculous as the initial reaction to the dollar value is likely to be.

    Of course, maybe the 2025-27 Reds lineup, anchored by superstars McLain, EDLC, and Marte, will bounce the Dodgers from the playoffs every year in the league championship round….

    • BK

      From a financial risk perspective, there’s no question Ohtani’s would be the bigger risk. In the last couple of years, the never-ending flow of new money streams for pro sports has encountered the pandemic and the RSN bankruptcy. The Dodgers owe this money even if things out of their control go wrong.

    • greenmtred

      He’s having his second TJ surgery. That alone could be seen as a catastrophic breakdown.

  14. Justin

    Good for him and his agent getting that kind of money. Too bad half of it will go right to the coffers of that “state” he plays in, but again good for him.

    Am looking at it like this, if it was Babe Ruth in his prime, would you give him that kind of money too? What about Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Nolan Ryan, the list goes on and on. Am not a fan of the huge contracts the “haves” can shell out but its a fact of life. I would be really salty if the Cubs or Cardinals got him, that would have been terrible.

    • JayTheRed

      If I were a baseball franchise, I don’t put on average nearly a third of my overall team payroll into one player. Now in the Dodgers case what will their team payroll be now like over 400 million or something. I don’t know their current payroll, but it’s got to be insane.

      From all the other baseball teams that don’t pay luxury tax thanks Dodgers for getting us more money.

      • Justin T

        Oh I don’t think “us” gets anything at all. We get the budget constraints talk.

    • Grover

      Bit of an exaggeration, California state income tax ranges from 1 to 13%, I am sure he’ll be hitting the top range with his salary.

      • 2020ball

        Huge exaggeration, but i guess a lot of people are “stateist” with regards to a country sized state economy, esp if youre sheltered in the midwest.

  15. redfanorbust

    Pretty soon now pitchers will start to be signed/traded and seems like the price that was reported a while back on what White Sox wanted from the Reds for Cease might seem like a bargain.

  16. JayTheRed

    Just going to say this. Dodgers better pray to the Baseball Gods this guy doesn’t get hurt even more than he already is. No pitching next year already and they are paying him more than some entire Baseball teams.

    The contract is breaking baseball even more than it already is. Of the 30 teams how, many would even consider this deal. Maybe 5. Its stupid money is what it truly is. I don’t care that he may be the best player of all time. The guy can’t even pitch next year and who knows if he will ever be able to again. the way he did. Who is to say he will hit like he has either. I know all contracts are risks but this is just dumb. No person in any sport makes as much as him now and by quite a lot too.

    • Redsvol

      Agree with everything you said @Jay, except the best player part. He is the most unique player for sure. The best players win championships and are in the playoffs large chunks of their career.

      Ohtani has won nothing, and barely sniffed the playoffs. I want my team in the playoffs routinely – and to win it all occasionally. I could care less about having the most unique player. However, if Ohtani stops pitching we may even have that too.

      • Doug Gray

        Ohtani is the best player that’s ever lived, even if his teammates weren’t good enough to help him win in the playoffs. I’m sorry but you are eleventy-billion percent wrong on your take here.

      • Jason Franklin

        Agree with Doug on this one. It is not the players fault if the team doesn’t win around you. You have to do your best as a player and that is all you have control of. You cannot blame the one player (even though he is the best currently by far) if the team doesn’t win.

    • Doug Gray

      Messi was getting $168.5M per year from Barcelona….

      • Redsvol

        Doug – what is the point of playing the game? I’ll answer -it is to win it all. I’m not that interested in how many jerseys a player sells or that he can both pitch and hit. I’m interested in my team being relevant to a championship every year. Everything else is just drama until the playoffs begin.

      • Doug Gray

        Yes, the point is to win. But this isn’t the NFL where a quarterback can essentially lead you to victory, or the NBA where LeBron James can carry you to the finals. No player, no matter how good, can do that in baseball. So the idea that Shohei Ohtani can’t be the best player ever because he hasn’t won in the playoffs is insane. The guy is one of the best hitters alive. He’s also one of the best pitchers alive. He’s both a unicorn and the greatest player to ever live. There is no debate.

      • Jedi Joey

        Greatest player to ever live after 5 seasons? What happens if he never plays another game? Still the GOAT? I’m not saying he isn’t but make him earn that through an entire career first.

      • Doug Gray

        Yes, he’ll still be the greatest player ever if he never plays another game. May not necessarily have had the best career ever if that’s the case, but the greatest player ever? Zero question.

      • Hal Ludwig

        There is always room for debate Doug. “Cuz I say so” doesn’t make it so, site owner or not.

      • Jedi Joey

        Greatest player ever if he doesn’t play another game? Greatest player ever apparently means something different to you than me.

      • Doug Gray

        It must, because to me it means the guy who was the greatest player, not necessarily the player who was great the longest and thus had bigger numbers. No one has ever been as good as he has been at this game, even if he hasn’t done it for 20 years. This isn’t a 1-year thing. He’s played professionally for 11 years now between NPB and MLB.

      • Jedi Joey

        You may also want to stop with the zero question bit if you have a platform meant for open discussion and want to encourage others to do so. It’s your site so obviously feel free to do what you want.

      • Doug Gray

        Oranges aren’t apples, man. Even if there might be people out there who will try to argue otherwise. Ohtani’s the greatest baseball player ever.

      • Melvin

        Wasn’t it not too long ago they were calling Trout the greatest player ever?

      • Doug Gray

        Yes. And he probably was. Until Ohtani started doing what he’s doing.

      • Jedi Joey

        Sorry but I have to disagree. He isn’t the greatest player yet. He certainly is on his way but anything could happen to derail it. I couldn’t care less about his Japanese stats. I only care about MLB.

      • Melvin

        “Yes. And he probably was. Until Ohtani started doing what he’s doing.”

        On the same team no less. Amazing. Still no championship. Kind of makes the argument that Joey Votto never lead his team to a championship kind of foolish.

      • Oldtimer

        Early 1960s SF Giants had Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, and Gaylord Perry. 5 HOF-ers on same teams. 1 NL Pennant (in a playoff game) and 0 WS titles.

      • 2020ball

        It makes focusing solely on championships foolish IMO, esp since thats not the discussion here

    • Colorado Red

      I still think the best player of all time is the Babe.
      94 wins ERA less the 2.5
      714 HRs.
      Ohtani may get this, but a little to early to give him the title.
      Who know what will happen over the next several years.

      • Doug Gray

        Ruth, in the context of his time, was. But his time was stupid by comparison. He only played against white guys, and for the most part only white guys who were born east of the Mississippi River. And most of those guys were not training to be athletes in the offseason.

        Ohtani is playing against worldwide competition from every ethnicity and against people who were training to be professional athletes since they were teenagers.

        Ruth changed how the game was played more than anyone else ever has. He outhomered entire teams for several years. Hilariously stupid good. But the game and how it was played before him was wildly different, too.

      • Oldtimer

        Ruth was a great pitcher for Boston from 1913 to 1918 and then a great hitter for New York got about 15 seasons. Not at the same time.

        Ohtani has been a great hitter and great pitcher at the same time. No one else has ever done that.

        Johnny Bench was ROY in 1968 and MVP in 1970 and 1972. He is the only player I can think if to win those 3 awards in his first 5 years.

        Ohtani won those three awards in his first six years. What he has done from 2018 through 2023 has never been done before.

        Ruth did play only against white players from the East and South. No blacks until Jackie Robinson in 1947. No dark skinned Latins until Minnie Minoso in 1951.

      • MBS

        The Babe will always be the greatest because of his mythic status.

        It’s fruitless to compare eras. Too many differences and what if’s. Ruth did things that were never done before, and now Othani is doing things that were never done before. Both Greats in their times.

      • Tar Heel Red

        To claim Ohtani is the greatest player of all time is an absurd statement. Greater that Aaron, Mays or Williams? Greater than, who in my opinion IS the GOAT…Mantle? The answer in each case has to be no.

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion (some more than others), but in this case Mr, Gray you are dead wrong.

      • Old Big Ed

        Ohtani has only 481 IP, and may not have many more. He’s accumulated 15.1 WAR while pitching over 6 seasons, missing one season entirely and throwing only 1.2 innings in another. Last year as a pitcher, he was pretty good, but he slipped considerably from 2022. He had a FIP of 4.00, and walked 3.2/9 IP, while giving up 18 HRs in 132 IP.

        It’s easy to forget how good Babe Ruth was as a pitcher, even without getting into the “different era” argument. At age 21, he was pretty much the best pitcher in the American League in 1916. He led the league in ERA at 1.75, threw 9 shutouts over 323.2 innings, and gave up 0 homeruns. (He gave up 10 homers in his career of 1221 IP.) Ruth racked up 8.8 WAR in 2016 and had a total pitching WAR of 20.8 in his 3 years as a full-time pitcher and 2 as a two-way player.

        Ruth’s hitting page in Baseball Reference is pretty much comical, with bold type everywhere. In his first year as a Yankee (having funded No No Nanette), he slashed .376/.532/.847. (His career OBP was .474.)

        Ohtani as a pitcher in 2022-23, and Ruth as a pitcher in the 1918-19 (when he was a 2-way player) are eerily similar. Ohtani threw 166 innings in 2022 and 132 in 2023; Ruth threw 166 in 1918 and 133.1 in 1919. Ohtani had FIPs of 2.40 and 4.00; Ruth’s were 2.75 and 3.58.

        I personally think that Willie Mays in the best player ever. He hit 660 HRs, but lost 3/4 of his age 21 season and all his age 22 season to military service, then came back at age 23 to be MVP. He also lost untold HRs to the cold of Candlestick Park. Mays played a premium defensive position, led the league in triples 3 times and in SBs 4 times, and never struck out more than 85 times in a season until he was 36 years old. He played in the better league after integration, and sustained it for 20+ years, logging a 158 OPS+ at age 40 in San Francisco. He led the NL in WAR 10 times.

    • Mario

      Ohtani is the best player on the planet and very likely the best player ever. I am not a huge fan of compilers determining the best ever. I think we can call him the best ever now. I’d still like to see Hunter Greene get some AB’s. He’s such a great athlete, he must think about it. I meant to ask him…

      Like many of the longer term contracts that have been signed recently- Boegarts, Machado, Turner, DeGrom, Rodon, Nimmo, Cole, Harper, etc etc etc this contract is not going to age well. Many of the contracts look really good for now – Harper, Cole, etc but give them 3 more years. I see Ohtani keeping his elite status for maybe 3-4 more years (maybe 2 more as a pitcher after likely not pitching at all in 2024). Then he will be a very well paid DH. He is going to be worthless the last 4 years or more. He is so much fun to watch, I hope I am wrong and he is elite for all 12 years. The Reds will still beat them in the playoffs. Starts next year, I’m calling it now (as long as they don’t get Yamamoto). He’s that good and I hope he doesn’t end up in the NL.

      • Mario

        oh forgot it’s only a 10 year contract. So he’s probably going to worthless (negative WAR) maybe only the last two years.

  17. Redsvol

    It was always likely to end in an outrageous contract. The marketing opportunities outside the United States for a big market club are probably worth $20M per year.

    I’m not convinced the Dodgers had to go to this level as it was probably only them vs. the Yankees – and I can’t see Hal Steinbrenner ok’ing a deal worth 70$M per year from salary cap perspective. Good negotiating by Nez Belelo.

    Long past overdue for MLB to have a salary cap and floor. 20% of teams won’t even have an MLB payroll equal to what the Dodgers are paying 1 player. Some MLB teams probably aren’t even worth $700M. I wouldn’t be surprised if this severely handicaps the Dodgers for the last half of the contract – which wouldn’t make me sad at all.

  18. TR

    Good for Ohtani. The Reds will have something to say how it goes with the Dodgers until they don’t.

  19. Jason Franklin

    My biggest concern is that this size of contract (deserved or not), will further cause a rift between the teams with the loads of cash and those that don’t have it. I know there is profit sharing, but if the contracts escalate even further due to this one, there will be a further gap between the haves and have nots.

    • David

      At this point, I don’t think the Dodgers have “loads of cash” anymore to sign players. This may be a colossal move; either good or bad.
      In essence, they have put a awful lot of chips on Ohtani, and spun the wheel. This is a tremendous gamble. It may take 5 years to say whether it is working out or not.
      The Dodgers and the Yankees have tremendous financial resources compared to a lot of teams, and more than even the other top tier teams.
      We saw that despite the Yankees huge payroll in 2023, they did not even make it to the playoffs. Too many big contracts that could not and cannot be moved, and too many of these players did not contribute to wins (WAR).
      Besides their already large payroll, the Dodgers have now made the biggest signing in baseball history. This event will have financial ripples for years to come.

      • Melvin

        “At this point, I don’t think the Dodgers have “loads of cash” anymore to sign players.”

        You might be right. I have a feeling though that the Dodgers could sign another player like this and still not hurt them very much.

  20. Willaim

    The Dodgers will regret this contract. It makes me a better Reds fan today.

  21. JB

    Even with Ohtani the Dodgers are a long way from being the favorite. Starting pitching is lacking, outfield is lacking as well as infield. In a sense they are the Angels with Trout. Good luck to them but I would rather have a team with talent everywhere. JMO.

    • VaRedsFan

      True about their pitching, but their organization manufactures pitchers. Magic pixie dust.
      They have Betts/Freeman/Muncy…now Ohtani. Their hitting is pretty OK.

  22. Mark Moore

    I forgot to award +1,000,000 to our own Doug Gray for the Steve Nebraska reference. Brilliant analogy. Absolutely brilliant!

  23. DK in Erie PA

    But bigger bases, eliminating the shift and the 3 batter minimum is what MLB sees to be a problem. Not the fact that his annual salary dwarfs entire team payrolls. Uh, ok

  24. RedBB

    Worth it if his Elbow stays healthy over those 10 years. Massive overpay if not. Overall from a Reds perspective I approve as it hampers Dodgers ability to sign other Free Agents over the next decade.

    • Greenfield Red

      I doubt it. I don’t think a team should sign a 30 year old to a 10 contract. They never age well. I doubt this one does either.

  25. Andy

    Some will argue a salary cap is needed. However, the biggest financial issue in baseball is the salary curve between league average and all star. I saw above that 1War costs $8M, but that’s not exactly true. A 1 war player can be had for league minimum $720K. A 2 war player can be had for $720K. Many players on rookie contracts accumulate 3 war season. Thus in free agency you’re deciding between 3war for $24M (example: Sonny Gray is projected 3.1War at fangraphs for 2024), or trying to see if the rookie can get 2-3 war for $720K. This is bonkers. I know how I’d choose if I was an owner. Not only that, but the free agent wants multi-year guarantee! The rookie that might get 2 war can be cut if it doesn’t work out. The biggest problem is that team control of rookies is too long. There is almost no “middle class” in MLB, unless you count the players getting larger ARB numbers.
    The NFL curves out MUCH better than MLB. Look at Bengals. Yes, Burrow makes a huge $, and some starters are later round picks making league minimum. But MOST starters are second contract guys making $5-16M. Think 4 of 5 offensive line, entire starting defensive line, 2 linebackers, 2 DB’s… all “middle class” free agents. Baseball has too many people making $16M, but not enough in between.

  26. docmike

    The NFL has a salary cap and floor.
    The NBA has a salary cap and floor.
    The NHL has a salary cap and floor.
    The MLB has neither.

    The NFL salary cap number 2023 is just shy of 225 million. The salary floor is around 200 million. That means that the difference between the team with the highest total salary and the one with the lowest is about 25 million.

    The NBA cap is about 136 million, while the floor is a little more than 124 million. The difference between the highest and lowest would be less than 12 million.

    The NHL cap is almost 84 million, with a floor of almost 62 million. The difference between the highest and lowest is around 22 million.

    The MLB’s highest total payroll in 2023 was over 353 million (NY Mets). The lowest payroll was less than 57 million (Oakland). The difference between the two was more than 296 million.

    Folks, I don’t know any better way to show how baseball is broken. How can MLB even pretend to have some semblance of a fair competition when there is that much difference in salaries from one team to another.

    • Oldtimer

      Baseball screwed its players for decades until Curt Flood, Andy Messersmith, and Dave McNally took a brave stance to change that. Flood in particular.

      Baseball is reaping what it sowed for so many years. Collusion existed not that long ago.

      • docmike

        I’m not talking about what happened 50+ years ago. The system in place back then was horrible for the players. It needed to change. But that’s not relevant to right now.

        A sports league must have competitive balance. Having such disparities between the highest and lowest is not healthy.

        Tell the Yankees, Dodgers, and Mets they can’t spend as much as they have been. Tell the A’s, Pirates, and the Reds they have to spend more. Find a middle ground and go from there.

      • Oldtimer

        Yes, it is. The players today know how MLB screwed the players of those days. They will not give up what those former players fought for.

        Collusion among owners existed much closer to today than 50 years.

      • docmike

        No, not relevant. Today’s players have no idea what the players of yesteryear went through. They’ve never known that world.

        This isn’t rocket science. If you bring the higher spending teams down, and raise the lower spending teams up, you still end up with the same amount of total dollars spent across MLB. Players would get about the same amount of money. In refusing a salary cap/floor, the players association is just being arrogant and antagonistic.

      • Oldtimer

        Baloney. Today’s players DO KNOW what baseball did. And for the third time, collusion by owners was not 50 years ago. It was much more recent.

        Baseball owners are rich and dumb at the same time.

      • Jedi Joey

        Docmike has a point. The system is majorly flawed in a professional league compared to the others. There should be no reason for that big of a spending gap between the top teams and the bottom teams. Fix it! No whining about crap from 50 years ago. That is absolutely asinine. Evolve or fail.

      • Oldtimer

        No it’s not. There have been 16 different teams win the WS since 2000.

        Once again, collusion WAS NOT 50 YEARS AGO. The owners kept cheating long beyond free agency.

      • Jedi Joey

        Nah, still broken old man. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t make it any less true. Greed by all sides minus the fans have led to this farce.

      • Oldtimer

        Numbers say it is not broken. Attention is good. Lots if different teams winning WS lately. I’m 72 and almost died in September but I know more than you do.

      • Jedi Joey

        Being 72 doesn’t mean you know more than anyone else. It makes you think you know more but you don’t. Good for you!!!!

      • Oldtimer

        I know more than the people posting in this thread.

        From 1950 to 1999, 16 different teams won the WS.

        From 2000 to 2023 (less than half the time), 16 different won the WS.

  27. Oldtimer

    PS since 2000, there have been 16 different teams win the World Series. Seems pretty balanced to me.

    • Mario

      including Kansas City. the all time shocker.

      • Oldtimer

        My point is the Reds have only won 5 WS ever. EVER.

      • RedsMonk65

        Only the Yankees, Cardinals, Red Sox, A’s, Giants, and Dodgers have more World Series titles than the Reds. Five championships is actually pretty decent — though the current 30-plus year drought is getting old.

    • AllTheHype

      Not sure what you mean by “balanced”, but it does not apply to competitive balance by market size, because of those 16…..

      13 were from teams in the top 15 MLB markets in terms of market size, and 3 were from the bottom 15 markets.

      • Oldtimer

        Who cares? Cities like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are lucky to have pro sports teams at all.

        The Reds have won 3 WS in my lifetime (born 1951) and 5 WS ever. Ever.

      • Jedi Joey

        No one cares that the Reds have won 3 WS in your self absorbed lifetime either.

      • Oldtimer

        The Reds have only won 5 WS ever. EVER.

      • west larry

        To oldtimer: most of your points are valid. but when you poke at the reds for only winning five world championships, I think that is as many as the dodgers have won in their existence.

      • Oldtimer

        Five is among the most WS won by any team. I think 7th most, tied with Pirates.

        My point is that it’s really hard to win the WS.

        Yankees won 27. Cardinals won 11. Red Sox and Athletics 9. Giants 8.

        Dodgers have won 7 WS for 6th most. Dodgers have LOST the most WS with 14.

  28. Tim

    2 Tommy Johns. Won’t pitch for one year of the contract. May never throw the same again. Baseball…all professional (and now collegiate) sports are broken and people trying to afford a ticket and a $10 hot dog are the victims. I want to be nice so I won’t say stupid.

      • Jedi Joey

        Oldtimer is either an agent or head of the player’s union. Nothing at all wrong here. Give us your hard earned money and be quiet. All sunshine and rainbows!

      • Oldtimer

        I was in Teamsters 1969 to 1974. Unions are the reason we have most of the stuff we get in our jobs. MLB is in pretty good shape if you look at the numbers.

      • Tim

        How many guys pitch well after 2 Tommy John’s? The list is few and far between.

      • Jedi Joey

        Peace out oldtimer! Our battle is over. 🙂 I have two young ones that will be waking me up early in the AM.

      • Oldtimer

        I do, too. My two cats want to fed by 6 AM latest.

    • AllTheHype

      Ohtani had one TJ but this recent procedure was not TJ. If it was, he wouldn’t be DH’g either this year.

  29. Jedi Joey

    Can you not read the numbers above? How are they not a long term concern for sustainability of true balance? Have you read the numbers on the average age of a baseball fan? Yes, it will die eventually at this rate if not corrected.

  30. Larry Baker

    Shohei Ohtani is a great talent. A pitcher who can also hit is special. Calling him the greatest player in history is a little forward. Always a good debate on the greatest and the most important to their team. A Willie Mays type player who plays every day in the field is also in the running for the all-time greatest. If Ohtani can pitch and DH on a regular schedule, he can be in the running for the greatest player ever. He has had some special seasons. His old team baby him some by limited his playing time. Hope the Dodgers turn him loose. If Ohtani could win around 300 games as a pitcher and hit around 500 homers, no doubt, he would be the greatest player in history. Let it play out. Ohtani sure has the potential to win 25-30 games a season and also hit 50-60 home runs. Look for the Dodgers to play him. Most great players have also won World Series championships. The LA Dodgers have the money to play to win. The Dodgers will have the talent to win it all. If Ohtani lives up to his potential, he could be on many championship teams like Babe Ruth. It’s easy to talk potential career numbers, just let it play out. No one knows the future. It will be fun to watch.

    • Oldtimer

      Babe Ruth was in 7 WS championship teams. 3 with Red Sox and 4 with Yankees.

      Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and others were on more Yankee teams that won WS.

      Your post piqued my interest so I looked it up.

  31. CI3J

    Why is no one else talking about the fact that Ohtani is going to turn 30 next season?

    He may be the best player in the game at this moment, but he is not going to pitch again until he’s almost 31. That is the tail end of a player’s prime years, and the beginning of the decline years. Granted, Ohtani is a generational talent and there’s no telling if the normal rules of decline will apply to him, but even some of the greatest players in the game fell off a cliff in their mid-30’s.

    All this is to say, this contract is a huge, expensive gamble for the Dodgers. But if this is the state of the game and what it takes to land the best player, then I guess they thought it was worth it.

    This also means, in our lifetime, we are very likely going to see the first $1 billion contract in sports. Imagine becoming a BILLIONAIRE just to play a game for about 20 years of your life.


    • CI3J

      I want to add, that I am of the opinion that Ohtani is going to age poorly. He has spent his career as a two-way player, and that has put A LOT of wear and tear on his body. As good as Ohtani is, he’s still human. The human body can only handle so much stress before it starts to break down, especially as you start getting into your 30’s like Ohtani is.

      I’m not wishing ill on him, but I honestly expect him to head down the Ken Griffey Jr. path, with injuries becoming a more frequent occurrence. I know sports medical science is leaps and bounds better than when Griffey was playing 2 decades ago, but there are still limits to what it can accomplish.

      I hope I’m wrong, as Ohtani is a joy to watch. But it’s something I’ve long thought would eventually happen to him, and him needing TJ surgery may be the first signs of it.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Griffey was playing the first half of his career on carpet overlaid on concrete. I can’t recall where I saw it but he was according to what I once read the biggest guy to ever play center field for any substantial amount of time on turf. There’s a theory that that is one of the reasons his legs broke down so suddenly.

        As for the part about him falling off because of his age I don’t know how true that is. I am far more concerned about him falling off because of the surgery. Pitchers do not have the same kind of aging bell curve that hitters do. Lots of reasons for that.

        $700 million dollars. That is just a crazy number to see. Maury Brown of Forbes said that the Dodgers should recoup that contract in six years –

        He didn’t show the math or explain how. I am skeptical on that. Over the course of the 10 years I can squint and see. Six years feels like a stretch but I also worked in product production and manufacturing and not marketing or sports so what do I know?

    • Ron

      Agree with you. It is absurd.

  32. Frankie Tomatoes

    All of this brought me back to when the Reds signed with Fox Sports Ohio for their tv deal and how that deal is now with Bally Sports who is shutting things down after 2024 it would seem. I swear I remember reading that the team looked into starting their own network and decided it wouldn’t work. Assuming my brain is not playing tricks on me and that actually happened I wonder what they are thinking about now?

    The Dodgers tv deal is safe for the time being and it is something around $200,000,000 a year. More than half of the league is going to be trying to find a new deal between today and a year from today to replace tens to hundreds of millions of dollars per year when Bally goes up.

    If they started their own network maybe it would be in a similar spot as Bally with many people cutting the cord but maybe not because they may have had a different outlook on holding out for years on streaming cable packages in the hopes of getting a better deal to be included and it simply never happened.

    That may have changed things for the Reds future. But maybe not. We’ll never know but it is something I was thinking about recently and this signing brought it all back when thinking about all of the tv money Los Angeles gets.

  33. Doc4uk

    The odds of any team winning a WS with a payroll under 150 million is very low. It seems that the teams with salary caps at or under 150 million should be in one league and the teams that spend above that in another league. The teams play just the teams in their league and the two champions then play in a seven game play off . There are an even number of teams in each category. Otherwise all of the lower paying teams continue to be the “Washington Generals”

    • Jason Franklin

      I think I read it here (or maybe somewhere else) but out of the past 20 years, 15 of the winners were from teams in the top 10 of payroll.

  34. DataDumpster

    No comment about the Ohtani contract, just makes me a little bit sad but only in respect to the big picture of the actual game we all love.
    More importantly, I am still waiting for the Part B on that Candelario deal. Between all the sudden hammering against the consensus opinion that India was a good and expendable trade piece, has Krall doubled down against that position by adding even more backup in the infield? Perhaps India or our rookie league infielders are not as good as most of us think.
    However, if one quality veteran starting pitcher is not acquired and the biggest offseason move is for Candelario, it ranks for me as an overpay in the least positional need. Now that the Ohtani situation being resolved somehow frees some logs from moving, perhaps I am waiting for a follow through that doesn’t come or the The Bull has the chamber ready to load.

    • Amarillo

      It’s not that India and the Rookies are worse than people think, it’s that you need more than 4 or 5 infielders to get through the season. Think of Candelario as an upgrade over Senzel/Newman/40 year old Votto.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree Amarillo. Regardless of position, Candelario is a well above average hitter who was willing to sign here for a reasonable cost. Senzel, Newman, and Votto were way below average and two of them had continuous injury issues. If JC just gets their at-bats the team should be 150 OPS points higher for those at-bats. There is always a way to mix and match defensive positions, and the DH makes it easier. Bottom line, if you can hit, you will play.

        There is no need to trade India so Candelario can play. Even if JI’s hitting is only average to the league, he is still valuable. Average hitters don’t grow on trees, and I think when healthy, he’s got above average in him. I agree with most, they still need one more good pitcher, and in my opinion it does not HAVE to be a starter. I hope it comes from free agency.

        My opinion.

      • Redsvol

        I went thru the 2023 Reds plat appearance by player totals. I came up with 1579 plate appearances that went to players that are either no longer with us (ex Votto, Senzel, Vosler) or likely not with us April 1st (Martini, Fairchild, etc).

        Even if you assume players like Marte and CES get loaded up to 500 plate appearances, it seems to me there will be room for both India and Candelario. Especially so if one can play multiple positions – surprise, they both can. Who knows, one of them might even be able to learn to play left field.

        Always a good idea to add good players to your roster – especially when free agent starting pitchers won’t sign to pitch half their games at GABP. Candelario was ranked the 14th best free agent (3rd best hitter) by the Athletic.

      • Dan

        I see the point, Amarillo… but at the same time, comparing Candelario to Senzel/Newman/older Votto makes it sound like he’s an insurance policy. And if that’s all he was, that would be fine.

        But he’s not – he’s a $15 million/year player! He’s the highest paid player on the Reds now! Doesn’t that seem messed up? When we already had Steer, CES, Marte, India, EDLC, and McLain?

  35. Greenfield Red

    I think this is a positive in some ways. First, no matter how they frame this, LA paid 700m to a 29 yo with 2 major arm operations. It will soak up some of their payroll flexibility, and the contract will be an anchor at the end.

    Second, Juan Soto’s price just went way up for the Yankees. At only 25, his 946 OPS is worth more than SO’s at 30. He may get 800 or 900 which will also soak up Yankee payroll. Heck, they may have to do 15 years at 1.3B which would be even better.

    Same goes for the new Japanese Pitcher. His price just went up to probably 400m for 10 years. Someone, maybe the Mets, will have to soak that up for an unproven MLB talent.

    These teams have unlimited resources, but they may spend themselves into huge luxary tax payments that will even things out a little for the others. Meanwhile, there is still 6 years of price control for the rest of the teams.

  36. Michael Wilson

    Good for baseball. I highly doubt it. Going to a dodger game will be like going to a laker game. The rich and famous court side. Crazy ticket prices, crazy concession prices. A family of four going to a ballgame, not affordable for way too many. If the best player in baseball gets 700 million what’s the second best player going to want, 600 million? And so on and so on.

    • Greenfield Red

      We spent two days in LA this Summer. My son wanted to see Groucho Marx’ grave (it’s really a drawer), so we added it on to our West Coast National Parks tour. It is a whole other world. We are not complainers, but we had real issues with the way we were treated there and the way they live. We don’t want to go back. In many cases, you are just expected to pay… whether you get what you paid for or not. And they will hold things like cars and hotel rooms over your head until you do… again whether they provide what you reserved or not.

      Dodger fans, Laker fans, and the hole LA scene gets what it deserves. Sensible people are moving out because of what happens there. If a family can’t afford Dodger tickets, maybe they’ll go to an Angels’ game. My sister and b-i-l bought a house there 10 years ago for 300K. They sold it last year for 900K. Moved to OH and paid cash for a nicer house and put money away for retirement.

      Ohtani may be the best player in the game currently, but at age 30 with having already had two major arm injuries, I doubt this contract ages well. To me, the best player in baseball over the next 10 years is likely to be Juan Soto. He’s only 25, and should be just coming into his prime. The Yankees will likely have to pay more for him than the Dodgers did for SO, or risk losing him to Boston which is a bad outcome for them.

      • Greenfield Red

        The above about Ohtani and Soto are my opinions, and I should have qualified my comments as such.

  37. RedBB

    Keep in mind that the majority of the contract is being deferred which means it really isn’t a $700M contract in 2023 dollars. You lost at least 5-10% of value for every year it is deferred and that is compounded every year. Same concept as compounded interest.

    Every dollar deferred for 10 years for example is only worth $0.386 in 2023 dollars.

    Let’s say 50% of his contract is deferred for 10 years. That’s $350M which in 10 years is only worth $135M based on the money he is losing every year. If this is the case then the REAL value of his contract is $485M=$350M + $135M (deferred)

    Also that deferred money still counts against Luxury tax but at the reduced amount explained above.

    • RedBB

      I believe MLB uses 5% as depreciation per year to calculate deferred money in terms of Luxury tax penalty.

    • KetteringRedsFan

      One other factor to add to the analytical pile……

      I haven’t followed contract trends for the past year or so, but:

      Is the assumption of 1 WAR = $8M still valid when we take inflation, additional revenue to spend and collateral effects into account?. Plus the mechanism by which the spend is annuitized (i.e. is the 700 before or after discounting).

      The magic number may now be more like 1:10 or 1:11, but when big numbers come into play, the eyes glaze over. Sure, the deal is spectacular but it is probably more affordable than it first appears.

    • Stock

      Fangraphs calculated the PV at 609 million. To use 10% as per your 485 million projection makes no sense. Fangraphs appear to have used 2.6%.

  38. Doc

    Two questions regarding Ohtani and his designation as GOAT:

    How many players are in the HOF based on a six year career?

    How many pitchers have come back from 2 TJ surgeries to again be dominant, HOF quality pitchers?

    • RedBB

      Your 3rd point is very relevant. The odds of coming back and being a successful pitcher long term after a 2nd TJ John surgery are much lower than after the 1st. I would think this is intuitively obvious to most but I would be wrong. It’s why I wouldn’t expect anything from Antone and would be pleased with anything….

    • Redsvol

      well the first 3 years certainly wouldn’t qualify as a hall of fame career. But the last 3 have been great. So maybe a great 3 year career is enough?

      Josh Hamilton really should have a better HOF case. He had 4 great years.

    • Oldtimer

      Ohtani has not had a second TJ surgery. Arguably Koufax is in HOF for what he said in early to mid 1960s.

      • David

        Yes, I was thinking of Koufax too. He was dominant for 5-6 years for the Dodgers, and then, his arm failed and his career was over. And he is in the Hall of Fame.
        In today’s world, imagine Koufax getting a 5 year, $150 million dollar contract after his 1964 season. After 1966, I think he was done. Of course, modern sports medicine might have fixed his arm injuries, but then again, maybe not.

      • greenmtred

        My understanding is that Koufax had severe arthritis in his elbow. No fixing that. I’ve got it, too, and the “fix” is learning to live with it.

  39. LDS

    It’s a shame we’re stuck debating Ohtani because the Reds thus far haven’t done anything of note. Maybe it’ll happen still but the clock is ticking.

    • wkuchad

      We’d be debating Ohtani no matter what the Reds have or haven’t done.

      • LDS

        Perhaps we will. Irrational acts tend promote debate.

    • Harry Stoner

      Soon enough we’ll be debating the fortune Krall pays for an innings nibbler.

      • LDS

        The one thing we do know Harry is the nibbles will b3 “affordable” and likely over 30.

    • Optimist

      They’ve done a great deal of note. They haven’t done the one thing that would be impressive, but what they’ve done to date is fine and necessary.

      • LDS

        The pitchers may work out ok. Hopefully, not another Doolittle. OTOH, Candelario isn’t what I expected as the “slugger”, despite the hype since he signed with the Reds.

      • wkuchad

        I think most on here agree with you Optimist. However, the ‘great deal of note’ done so far will be close to meaningless unless they find a way to bring in one solid starting pitcher. It’s the last piece (and main piece) left that will make this a successful offseason.

      • 2020ball

        Anything the Reds can do that you would also like is very likely a unicorn. I just assume you’ll disapprove of pretty much everything.

      • Optimist

        That’s it Wkuchad. Still need a good/very good starter.

        I wouldn’t mind 2 gambles (Bieber & Glasnow), but they need 100-150ip from a reliable sub 4era starter.

        The 3 acquisitions will be fine, and perhaps very fine, but if the 2nd year offense falters and they don’t have to needed starter, they have problems.

    • Stock

      Prior to the Ohtani signing one analyst on MLB Network said the Reds had done the most to improve their team thus far this off-season. Maybe they fall behind LA now. But to say they have done nothing of note makes no sense to me.

      • greenmtred

        It does in that particular parallel universe.

  40. Old-school

    The biggest issue with Ohtani is MLB playing accounting gymnastics with the luxury tax. If the dodgers want to sign him for $70 mil/year…fine. But every $$$ of that $70 million should count toward the luxury tax in 2024/25/26/etc. Multiple reports only $40-50 mil will count toward the luxury tax because of deferrals. Thats flat out wrong. You sign a contract to a player , it should apply to the time hes actually a player on the field. This is where the smaller markets and the Commissioner have to take a stand. Why have a luxury tax if you dont enforce it and you have workarounds?

    • Hanawi

      Baseball is moving quickly toward what European soccer is with very different tiers of teams. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Premier League just had to make a new rule about spreading payments on long-term contracts to get around Financial Fair Play. This was a tactic being used by Chelsea, owned by Todd Boehly, who is also the co-owner of the Dodgers. MLB will probably need to step in to shut this down or he will continue to exploit it.

    • Tom Reeves

      Would you rather have one Ohtani for the next 10 years or the entire Reds current line up of young players?

      • TR

        I’d rather be a lifelong Red’s fan, which I am.

    • Stock

      Per Fangraphs about $61 million a year will go towards the luxury tax. This if fair because if you did not defer much of the money the contract would have been far less

    • Jim Walker

      Yeah, but these things can also cut the other way sometimes. Recall that the Dodgers took on Homer Bailey’s contract and sent the Reds Matt Kemp’s because Bailey’s had a lower CBT hit even though it was a greater total out of pocket expense. As I recall the difference out of pocket was around $7M which was a chump change to LAD but a big deal for the Reds.

      • Redsvol

        utterly ridiculous . I can’t believe MLB even allows this much deferment as an option. Every team is going to start doing this now and the impact won’t be understood for a decade or two. MLB needs to close this giant loophole.

        This allows the Dodgers to continue to play big boy in the free agent market without tax implications.

  41. Will Henry

    Check Ronald Acuña Jr. stats vs SO, and at only $12.5 million/year for next 3 years.

  42. Doc4uk

    JD Martinez will be released by Dodgers. I think he received around 10 million last year. Hit .271 with 33 HR’s and 110 RBI’s. Used as DH. Reds could use his power bat in their line up. He only played in 113 games. Can imagine his power output might increase at Great American

  43. Rednat

    Frank Robinson was the greatest ball player I ever have seen on a consistent, day by day basis. Doug says Otani is the greatest and who am I to argue? I don’t follow baseball that closely anymore. All I remember is Frank taking a pay cut in 1963 after having a down year. I think from 60 k to 50 k. In today’s dollars that would extrapolate to about one million dollars.
    I have never seen Otani play but there is no way he is worth 70 times more than Robinson. Just physically impossible. There is definitely someone wrong with the system now. Not sure salary cap is the answer but this is almost disrespectful to the great players of the past

    • Doug Gray

      There is a vastly larger amount of money coming into the sport than there was in 1963. Frank Robinson was almost assuredly underpaid for the time, but you can’t compare the money then to today. Television contracts – both local and national, advertising deals, and even mark up (not inflation) for tickets and parking and food/drinks has changed everything in ways that just weren’t out there back then for teams ownership and players to “fight” over. Plus, in 1963 there was no such thing as free agency – players couldn’t get teams to compete for their services and that also kept salaries far lower than they ever should have been.

      I mean if we go all the way back to 2006, MLB is bringing in 2x as much money today in terms of revenue as it did then.

      A little research shows that in 1965 ABC bought the rights to broadcast 28 games on Saturday’s throughout the season. They handed over $5,700,000 for that. In 2021 ESPN re-upped their Sunday night baseball deal that included 30 games, and the HR derby. They paid $550,000,000 per year for that.

      Using an inflation calculator, that $5.7M in 1965 is only $56M today. So the same kind of TV deal in 2023 is worth nearly 10 times as much in today’s money as it was in 1965. But here’s the thing – MLB isn’t just getting that one deal like they did in 1965. They also get $730M from Fox per year. And another $470M from TBS per year. And then there is/was all of the regional money from the local broadcasts on top of that, so let’s just round that up to say $100,000,000 per team and we’re talking about MLB going from approximately $56M in TV dollars in today’s money versus $4.75B today. Quick math says that’s 85 times as much money from television revenue.

      It’s not disrespectful that these guys are getting paid this. It’s disrespectful that they didn’t get paid better. And let’s be sure, too, that the current players salaries are certainly going somewhat to older, retired players pensions – which if they were a “great”, they certainly got the full pension plan.

    • Jim Walker

      For me, the difference in comparing Ohtani and Robby is that Ohtani is (or was) also a legitimate comp to Bob Gibson (or pick any generational pitching talent). If the Dodgers don’t get top tier pitching from Ohtani for at least several years, that changes the equation.

  44. Pablo

    I’ve despised the Dodgers going back to my childhood. It will be all the sweeter when they get knocked out of the playoffs again next year with their giant payroll! 🙂

  45. docmike

    I saw it mentioned that MLB had 16 different WS winners since 2000. That’s about half the teams that have won. Congrats to them. But that doesn’t prove anything.

    Getting into the playoffs is the key. Once you get in, anything can happen in a short series. Teams with the lowest payroll can (and do) beat the higher-paid teams. That’s the nature of baseball. But over the course of 162 games, the lower-payroll teams have much less room for error. That’s why most of the playoff spots end up going to the higher-payroll teams.

    Of those WS champs since 2000, I think all but 3 were in the top echelon of payrolls. Most of the lower payroll teams start the season with very little chance to make the playoffs compared to the larger teams. Everyone thinks of the outliers, like the Tampa Bay Rays. But they are the exception that proves the rule. Better examples would be the A’s, Pirates, Orioles, Tigers, etc.

    And what about our Reds? From 2000 till now, the Reds made the playoffs either 3 or 4 times, depending on whether you count the play-in game in 2013. All but one of those appearances came in a brief, 4- year window from 2010 to 2013. The other one came when there were 8 slots in the Covid year. Lower payrolls can be overcome, the Rays do support that. But having a lower payroll clearly puts those teams at a competitive disadvantage to making the playoffs.

    I honestly don’t see how this is a debate at all. No one is saying to pay the players less and to let the owners keep more. What we’re saying is take the pool of money being spent amongst all the teams and spread it around some more. Higher teams spend less. Lower teams spend more. More teams overall have a chance at the playoffs every year. Big-market teams don’t get to just buy their way in. MLB’s product is improved.

    • BK

      The variety of WS winners is one data point that says the game is in great shape. Also, attendance and viewership were all up in 2023. A lot of data shows MLB has lost tremendous ground to the other pro leagues over the last several decades. The NFL long ago passed MLB. NBA revenue growth may push them ahead of MLB by 2030. Faster games with more action helped. Obvious* competitive imbalance that appears to be increasing disparity is a HUGE problem. Until the elephant in the room is addressed, MLB’s ceiling will remain limited.

      * I say it’s obvious. National writers would have us believe that all is well and whenever a dispute between Owners and the union happens, competitive balance disappears completely from the narratives.

  46. doofus

    Please no more Ohtani stuff., The Athletic, et al have all been wall-to-wall Ohtani this, Ohtani that.

    • wkuchad

      Maybe you should stay off the post titled “Shohei Ohtani signs a $700,000,000 10-year contract”. 🙂

      I’m kidding… mostly.