Baseball star Shohei Ohtani has signed a historic 10-year, $700 million (£558 million) contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking the largest deal in the history of US MajorLeague Baseball (MLB). This move solidifies Ohtani’s position as one of the world’s highest-earning athletes.
Considered one of the greatest players in the sport, the Japanese sensation was highly sought after in a major bidding war following his decision to leave the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent. The contract’s reported value rivals or exceeds the impressive sums commanded by sports icons like Lionel Messi or LeBron James.
Ohtani, renowned for transforming the game and earning praise from fans and pundits alike, possesses exceptional skills in both batting and pitching—an uncommon feat in baseball. Despite his 2023 season being cut short by injury, he secured the American League MVP award for the second time last month, further solidifying his status as an all-time great.
The 29-year-old’s significance extends beyond the MLB, as he led Japan to a historic victory over the US in the World Baseball Classic championship in March—a monumental achievement in a country where baseball reigns as the most popular sport.
Expressing gratitude to his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, in an Instagram statement, Ohtani emphasized his commitment to advancing not only the Dodgers’ success but also contributing to the broader world of baseball throughout his playing career.