Home Sport Shohei Ohtani Talks Choosing Dodgers, Deferred Contract, More in Press Conference

Shohei Ohtani Talks Choosing Dodgers, Deferred Contract, More in Press Conference

by News7

AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezShohei Ohtani is officially a Los Angeles Dodger, sporting the team’s colors for the first time during his introductory press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReportFirst look at Ohtani in his Dodger uni 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/EcR6H4OM8C

Ohtani signed a record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers on Saturday following a six-year stint with the Los Angeles Angels, and he said Thursday that while there were many reasons why he signed with the club, a big part of his decision was the opportunity to win.

“If I want to talk personally, as you saw my contract is 10 years and I’m not sure how long I’m going to be able to play the game, so I do prioritize winning,” Ohtani said through an interpreter (19:50 mark). “That’s on the top of my list and that will probably never change and that was one of the reasons why I chose this team.

The Angels failed to make the playoffs during Ohtani’s tenure with the club, and he often discussed his disappointment with the team’s inability to play winning baseball and contend for a World Series title.

“They share the same passion with me, a vision and history about winning,” Ohtani added of the Dodgers through his interpreter.

And while Ohtani’s contract is the largest in Major League Baseball history, he deferred $680 million, which will be paid to him between 2034 and 2043, in order to help the team add more players and to also help ease the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT).

“I was looking into it and doing some calculations and I figured if I can defer as much money as I can if that’s going to help the CBT and that’s going to help the Dodgers be able to sign better players and make a better team, I felt like that was worth it and I was willing to go that direction, so that’s why I made that choice,” Ohtani said through his interpreter (18 minute mark).

Ohtani’s contract also includes a clause allowing him to opt out of his deal if either majority owner Mark Walter or president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman lose their roles with the Dodgers, according to Beth Harris and Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

When asked specifically about that clause, Ohtani told reporters through his interpreter, “Everybody has to be on the same page to be a winning organization. Those two are at the top of it… I feel almost like I’m having a contract with those two guys.”

Ohtani’s final season with the Angels ended with him undergoing elbow surgery in September. At the time, it was unclear what type of elbow procedure he underwent, and when asked if he had a second Tommy John surgery, the two-way phenom told reporters it was different than the procedure he had in October 2018.

The two-time MVP will not be able to pitch in 2024 because of the procedure, but he is expected to serve as L.A.’s designated hitter, and he told reporters Thursday that he should be ready to hit by Opening Day.

The Dodgers now own the best odds to win the World Series at +450, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. If they win the title in Ohtani’s first season, it would be a picture-perfect moment for both team and player.

Source : Bleacher Report

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