The baseball world and Dodger fans in particular, were rocked by the signing of Shohei Ohtani to a massive 10 year 700 million dollar contract. The deal was condemned by many across the media and baseball until the entire details came out.
Seems the contract included the deferment of 680 million dollars and the player will take home 2 million a year for the duration of the contract. The rest will be paid out after the 10 years are over for another 10 years.
It also came to light that Ohtani himself suggested this so the Dodgers could add players and stay competitive over the course of the contract.
My first reaction was WOW! He gained a lot of respect in my eyes. And the Dodgers did this knowing he could only DH the first year of the deal and there is no guarantee he will pitch at the same level once cleared.
It is also possible, although not likely, that once his arm is cleared, he could move to the outfield if unable to pitch. He is, after all, a gifted athlete.
He has also shown a skill of recruiting other players. He was at Dodger Stadium along with Betts, Freeman and Roberts, recruiting Yamamoto.
Tyler Glasnow signed his extension and said he wanted to play on the same team as Ohtani. Since they are both pitchers, they will probably trade secrets.
As soon as the signing was official, the Dodgers began reaping benefits. How? Jersey sales. Ohtani’s jersey has been flying off of the shelves at a record pace.
As a matter of fact, he set a 48 hour record, passing the sales of Messi, Ronaldo, Fields and Bryce Harper. Impressive.
The other immediate effect is one I expected, but it won’t affect me. Ticket prices for opening day soared. In some cases, they more than tripled. The game against the Cardinals on the 28th of March will most certainly be a sell-out.
The Dodgers actually open the season in Seoul Korea on the 20th of March. Since he is coming off of surgery, and will be reporting early to spring training, Ohtani could be ready for that game.
Many fans have wondered if he will be ready to open the season on time. If he has shown anything, it is that he is a hard worker. He has been seen working out at Dodger Stadium. He says he will be ready, and I tend to believe him.
Ohtani will either hit third or second. Betts is the leadoff man. Both Ohtani and Freeman have said they feel comfortable in either spot. This opens up the cleanup spot for Will Smith or Muncy. I would think it would depend on the pitcher as to who hits where.
The first five in the order all have 20 plus homer power. The bottom of the lineup will depend on who is on the mound, but there is some pop there too with Taylor and Outman. Heyward can be a force now and then too.
Since AF is hell bent on Lux playing SS, I see him as a second leadoff guy and hitting 9th again, unless Barnes is catching.
But at this point in time, we do not know exactly what the lineup will look like. There will be some additional signings. Depth at AAA pieces mostly.
My own thought is that they really need a power hitting RH outfielder. I am not impressed with Margot as a hitter. I know he does better against LH pitching, and he will most likely platoon.
Unfortunately the options in that department have dwindled significantly. But one remains a free agent, and I would go get Adam Duvall. Good outfielder with a ton of power.
If they are unable to sign Yamamoto, I think Busch, or Vargas, will be trade bait for a pitcher. With Busch being the most likely to be moved because he hits left-handed and the Dodgers are lefty heavy.
At any rate, the next few weeks will be very interesting. Gomes says they are not finished. I tend to believe him.