Shohei Ohtani’s Contract With the Dodgers Has $680 Million in Deferred Money

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani in 2018
Shohei Ohtani with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. Photo by Peter Joneleit/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9635290f)

Two-time NL MVP Shohei Ohtani received the largest contract in MLB history last week after signing a 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, it turns out Ohtani will have to wait quite a while before seeing the majority of that money.

According to ESPN’s MLB Insider Alden Gonzalez, Ohtani’s agreement with the Dodgers is constructed in a way that he’ll only have a $2 million salary during the duration of the contract. The remaining $680 million will be in deferred money and paid out to Ohtani from 2034 to 2043.

Gonzalez reports that the unique structure of the contract was proposed by Ohtani. The Japanese star pitcher and designated hitter wanted to give the Dodgers financial flexibility to keep on improving their roster.

Shohei Ohtani spent the first six years of his MLB career with the Los Angeles Angels. During that time, he became arguably the best player in baseball, showing a remarkable ability to star both as a designated hitter and pitcher.

Ohtani received a number of individual accolades with the Angels, including being the first player in MLB history to win two MVP awards unanimously. However, he never played in the postseason, as the LA team consistently ended their campaigns in a disappointing manner.

After becoming a free agent this offseason, Ohtani reportedly prioritized teams with a winning culture that would allow him to compete in the World Series on a regular basis. The Dodgers, who made the postseason each year since 2012 and had three World Series trips in the last seven years, fit the bill more than any other team.