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:
I chortled out loud in a shop. Person asked if I was ok.
— Joey Votto (@JoeyVotto) December 9, 2023