Two-time AL MVP Shohei Ohtani agrees to historic deal with Los Angeles Dodgers

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 20: Shohei Ohtani #16 of Team Japan looks on prior to the start of the World Baseball Classic Semifinals against Team Mexico at loanDepot park on March 20, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Ohtani starred for Japan at the World Baseball Classic earlier this year.Eric Espada/Getty ImagesCNN — 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the race to reach terms with Shohei Ohtani, baseball’s transcendent two-way star, to one of the richest contracts in professional sports.

The two-time American League MVP announced on Instagram he had “decided to choose the Dodgers” as his next team; their historic deal is for 10 years and $700 million, according to ESPN, and other media outlets citing Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo.

The deal would see the Japanese phenom, who pitches and bats as a designated hitter, move across town from the Los Angeles Angels of the American League to the Dodgers, winners of 10 of the last 11 division titles in the National League West.

The Dodgers declined to comment on the situation. CNN has reached out to Ohtani’s representatives to confirm the terms of the agreement.

The star’s free agency has been the topic of fevered speculation in recent weeks, and his contract is reportedly the most expensive in North American sports history. He confirmed the deal in an Instagram post Saturday.

Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.

Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña Jr. named unanimous MLB MVPs

In his Instagram post, Ohtani said, “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.

“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.

“And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself. Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers but for the baseball world.

“There are some things that cannot be conveyed in writing, so I would like to talk more about this again at a later press conference.

“Thank you very much”

Ohtani has played for the Los Angeles Angels ever since he first moved to the MLB in 2017. Ahead of his free agency, multiple teams have been queuing up to secure the services of the 29-year-old Japanese star, who had remained tight-lipped about the future of his career.

After undergoing elbow surgery, he will not pitch again until 2025 and will just serve as a designated hitter in 2024.

If completed, the deal would be one of the biggest athlete contracts in sports history.

“This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player,” Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo said, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

“He is excited to begin this partnership, and he structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success,” Balelo continued.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 05: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on April 05, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Ohtani pitches against the Seattle Mariners in April.Steph Chambers/Getty Images

According to Spotrac, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has the most expensive contract in the NFL, worth $450 million over 10 years.

In the NBA, Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets) and Bradley Beal (Phoenix Suns) all have five-year contracts worth more than $250 million, per Spotrac.

Lionel Messi’s contract at MLS team Inter Miami is worth between $50 and $60 million per year, part-owner Jorge Mas told Spanish publication El País earlier this year, while the Argentine star was on a $672 million contract between 2017 and 2021 while playing for Barcelona.

Messi’s long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is reportedly on a two-and-a-half year contract estimated by media to be worth more than 200 million euros ($220.16 million) at Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.

CNN’s Zoe Sottile contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *