Nine Fascinating Insights into Ohtani's Agreement with the Dodgers
Shohei Ohtani’s move to the Dodgers marks a historic moment in his career, bringing a multitude of exciting elements to the forefront. The reigning unanimous American League MVP now joins forces with MVP winners Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, forming a powerhouse lineup. Among the many noteworthy aspects of this deal is Ohtani’s unique position as a player who has hit 171 career home runs, all with the Angels, a feat yet to be matched by anyone playing for both the Angels and the Dodgers.
Let’s delve into more context surrounding Ohtani’s groundbreaking contract and his new team with these nine stats and facts:
- Record-Breaking Deal: Ohtani’s 10-year, $700 million contract is believed to be the largest in the history of professional sports, surpassing Mike Trout’s previous record-setting deal with the Angels by $273.5 million.
- Unprecedented Annual Value: Ohtani’s contract sets a new record for the average annual value in MLB contracts, exceeding Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander’s prior records.
- Free Agency Milestone: Ohtani’s move is unique, as reigning MVPs rarely change teams. He joins a select group, including Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Bonds, who made similar transitions.
- Rare Free Agency Move: Only five players, including Ohtani, have been granted free agency after winning the MVP and changing teams. Bonds is the only other player in this group who switched teams.
- Elite OPS+ in 2023: Ohtani’s 184 OPS+ in 2023 is the highest by a qualified hitter changing teams since Jim Thome in 2002, setting the stage for an exceptional performance with the Dodgers.
- Double MVP Winner: Ohtani has won the AL MVP twice and is now positioned to pursue the award with the Dodgers, a feat accomplished by only five players in MLB history.
- Top Three MVP Finishers: With Ohtani, Betts, and Freeman, the 2024 Dodgers become the fifth team in history to start a season with three players who finished top-three in MVP voting in the previous season in either league.
- Historical Comparison: Drawing parallels to elite teams like the 2004 Yankees, 1967 Orioles, 1960 White Sox, and 1942 Dodgers, the Dodgers boast an extraordinary trio with Ohtani, Betts, and Freeman.
- Position Player WAR Dominance: If Betts, Freeman, and Ohtani replicate their top-five position player WAR rankings in 2023, they would join an exclusive list of teams achieving such dominance, including the 1948 Cleveland, 1942 Yankees, and 1904 Cleveland squads.