The contract of Shohei Ohtani, 29, in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform, is a big deal for many reasons. At 10 years and $700 million, it’s the most expensive contract in the history of professional sports worldwide, with an unprecedented $680 million, or 97.1% of it, in “deferred payments” that will be paid after the end of the contract.
It doesn’t end there. Ohtani’s contract had another special provision. According to local media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Ohtani’s contract included an opt-out clause that would only be triggered under certain circumstances, stating that the team could opt out of the contract after the season if certain personnel changes occurred.
The specific employees referred to were Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter and President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, according to multiple reports, although neither the organization nor Ohtani or his agent confirmed this. Without Walter and Friedman, the implication is that Ohtani could leave the Dodgers after the season.월카지노
This condition, known as a “key man” clause, is very rare but not without precedent. During his time with the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Joe Maddon had an opt-out clause that allowed him to leave the team if Friedman left. In fact, when Friedman left to become president of the Dodgers after the 2014 season, Maddon opted out of his one-year contract with Tampa Bay to become manager of the Chicago Cubs.
It’s interesting to note that Ohtani followed Maddon’s lead. It’s a testament to Friedman’s strong presence in the organization that he instills such trust in managers and players alike. It means that Friedman and Ohtani are destined to be together for the next 10 years.
For Ohtani, the conditions foreshadow a long run for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. The first manager Friedman hired after arriving at the Dodgers, Roberts led the team for eight years, from 2016 to this year. He was often criticized for poor game management, including pitching changes in big games, but Friedman stepped in as a shield. Roberts has been labeled as Friedman’s puppet.
Initially hired on a three-year deal, Roberts was rewarded with a four-year extension following the 2018 season and signed a three-year contract extension prior to the 2022 season, guaranteeing his job through 2025. Given Friedman’s confidence in Roberts, it’s likely that Ohtani’s contract will extend well beyond Roberts’ tenure. Barring any major missteps, Roberts’ position is likely to be solidified.
Meanwhile, the actual value of Ohtani’s contract in today’s dollars, including the deferred payments that the Major League Baseball players union has agreed to, is $437.8 million. The amount subject to the annual luxury tax, which is reportedly about $46 million, turned out to be less.
Ohtani’s contract also includes a no-trade clause against his former club. It’s a common clause for top free agents, but it’s the first time the Dodgers have included one under Friedman, who has pursued conservative contracts since taking over after the 2014 season.
The Dodgers also guaranteed the employment of Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, and provided him with a suite at Dodger Stadium for all home games. He has decided to donate up to 1% of his salary to Dodger charities. The $680 million salary deferred through the deferrals will be paid in annual July 1 installments from 2034 through 2043.