It has come out that Shohei Ohtani, despite agreeing to the richest contract in the history of American sports, will actually be making a paltry $2 million per year for the next 10 seasons.
Shohei Ohtani's $700 million contract calls for him to be paid only $2 million a year for the next 10 seasons, with $680 million deferred until the end of the deal, sources confirm to ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2023
The CBT hit on the contract is going to be around $46 million, a huge discount for L.A.
The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz had some thoughts.
Dan points out that the Marlins did something similar with Giancarlo Stanton, structuring the contract in such a way that they guaranteed that they would never actually be the ones paying out the bulk of the deal. He says, however, the Dodgers could actually afford this deal thanks to the competitive advantage they have which is their regional TV money.
Stugotz, on the other hand, zigs while everyone else zags: Are we sure Ohtani is worth it?
Never change, Stugotz.
Moving on from the fact that $700 million is an INSANE amount of money, Dan says if any player in baseball was going to command that type of outlay, Ohtani is the guy. Stugotz isn’t backing down, however, noting that before the $700 million deal he wasn’t overrated but once you attach $700 million to his name? Overrated.
As Billy Gil points out, it does seem impossible for a guy could hit 45 home runs and not reach 100 RBI, but the Angels are going to Angels.
Jeremy points out that by deferring so much money it’s actually perfect. Making $2 million per year for the next couple of seasons, Ohtani won’t actually be overrated for several years! In fact, he’s the best value player in baseball!
Billy, however, throws some cold water on everyone with the reminder that Ohtani has undergone his second Tommy John surgery. How good a pitcher will he be when he comes back, likely in 2025.
Dan doesn’t know if Ohtani will make it back to the mound, which he calls a reasonable concern, as the reason Shohei is the modern Babe Ruth is that he both hits and pitches so well. To be that great at those two things, Dan says, means that he can’t be overrated but that he’s properly rated. There is no player like him anywhere in the sport and to find a comp you have to travel back to the Bambino 100 years ago playing against guys who had second jobs in the offseason. Stugotz, however, says if he can’t pitch then the deal quickly becomes problematic. Stugotz says you are signing Ohtani to that deal because you’re hoping he can do both and if he can’t then he questions if he’s worth $700 million. The contract has everything to do with it.
But, as Dan points out, it’s not Stugotz’s money, so they are under no requirement to spend wisely. All they have to do is go out and get stars and keep the buzz going. Dan says don’t think of this as acquiring someone who is going to help the Dodgers win the World Series. He says it’s part of the programming for their aforementioned regional TV – Shohei is a star in a city that loves stars and the Dodgers need stars. Dan says the thinking is get someone who feels BIG and will help drive people to the ballpark. He says we’re not talking about the baseball part of this, we’re talking about this because of the money and as a business move. This is the Dodgers going Hollywood.
Stugotz wonders however if this is fair. This, he says, feels like the rich getting richer, like the Yankees back in the days of the Evil Empire. How many stars does one team need? But as Stugotz points out, when a big free agent becomes available, there is an expectation that the Dodgers will be in the bidding and will probably get him.
That ties into the really annoying part to Billy — not only did the Dodgers get the star, but they’re getting him for basically $2 million per year, which allows them to go out and get more stars! Greg Cote, meanwhile, is surprised that the MLBPA allows this type of deferral because it could become a trend. Meanwhile, you know who Chris feels bad for? Bobby Bonilla. Because in a few years, we’ll be celebrating Ohtani Day, totally eclipsing Bobby Bo Day. Say it ain’t so.
In other sports news, Dan and the crew were in their feelings after Miami’s epic Monday Night loss to the Titans. Are you DolphIN or DolphOUT? ...
Local Hour: Geraldo’s Vault
- My nuts roasting on an open fire The crew kicks things off with a beautiful tune from the sultry sounds of Greg Cote. After last night’s Dolphins watch party with show fans, we discuss the laughable results of the game as the Dolphins did something horrible that hasn’t happened in years. Are you DolphIN or DolphOUT? The crew is taking notes on who left their fandom aside after last night’s game. Then, Jeremy is dressed as Winnie the Pooh and chugged too much honey after debuting his horrible impression, Pablo Torre joins us to discuss Shohei Ohtani’s contract determents, what LeBron James’ value would be without Free Agency, and to teach the young people in the Shipping Container about Geraldo’s Vault.
The Big Suey: The Top 5 Three-way
- Billy continues our discussion on Shohei Ohtani and his record-setting contract with the Dodgers, the contract deferments, TV contracts and stardom, and whether or not the Dodgers owners will sell the team before paying Ohtani. Then, Jeremy won’t shut up, and we get to three Top 5 lists at the same time: Stugotz’s teams you don’t want to face in the NFL Playoffs, Chris Cote’s teams you DO want to see in the NFL Playoffs, and Greg Cote’s teams you’d be ambivalent about seeing in the NFL Playoffs. Plus, Tommy Devito’s agent, a Turkish Soccer fight, and Greg tries to learn how to do the show.
Hour 1: Killy Gil
- Esteemed Meadowlark Intern Mike Schur is here to discuss the Shohei Ohtani contract, the Braves payroll, Juan Soto, and Billy Kill. Then, Lucy has faced her first adversity as a member of the DLS Show, but we try to save her with Royalty Free Music. Plus, we play a quick game of “How Old Are They?,” and Greg discusses the Dolphins history of sizzling in December.
Hour 2: Who Should Host a Game Show?
- Mike and the crew try to teach Greg Cote how the Hard Network Out actually works, and it seems as though he may be coachable. Then, Greg and Roy are destined for a Turk-Off, Mike takes down Giannis and claims he’s “surrounded by losers,” and Lucy, Jeremy and Dan (?) are sick of the fat-shaming of Zion Williamson. Plus, Chris Cote wants to know which celebrity would make the best future Game Show host, and Jeremy and Billy want to throw their hats into the ring to host one themselves.
Postgame Show: Greg’s Lobos
- Greg’s Manny Diaz takes, Jeremy’s Top 5 Silliest Payments in Baseball in 2024, and a Greg’s Lobos update!
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