Showtime in Los Angeles: LA Won’t Dodge This Opportunity!

Signing of the Decade!
Shohei Ohtani in the Dodger Blue:
Shohei Ohtani in the Dodger Blue:

When thinking of the city of Los Angeles in reference to sports, one easily think about championships. The LA Lakers, The LA Kings, The LA Rams, and others resemble championship pedigree. But what specifically stands out in Los Angeles this upcoming season? None other than the Los Angeles Dodgers, arguably the best upcoming baseball team this MLB season. Coveted superstar Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers came into an agreement on the biggest American League sports contract in history. For 10 years, $700 Million, what placement does this historical move place the Los Angeles Dodgers? What are the perks in Shohei Ohtani’s contract? What other moves awaits the Los Angeles Dodgers during this enticing MLB offseason?  

Shohei Ohtani is introduced as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 14, 2023. (True Blue LA)

Where Money Lies, Talent Follows!

On December 11, 2023, the sports world was forever changed. Two-time American League MVP right-handed pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani made his free agency decision to leave behind the Los Angeles Angels to pursue championship aspirations with the Los Angeles Dodgers. You could say he threw a curveball by joining the other side of LA. Shohei Ohtani’s contract of $700 million dollars over the course of 10 years is the biggest contract in ALS history. Shohei Ohtani’s contract for $700 Million is a contract like none other. According to CBS Sports, Shohei Ohtani will be paid $2 million out of $70 million over the course of 10 years. After the 10 years on the current constructed contract, Ohtani will be paid $68 million dollars from 2034 to 2043. 

48 hours into the signing of superstar Shohei Ohtani, Fanatics reported record-breaking jersey sales in that timespan. Being a proud native of Japan, the Japanese media went absolutely nuts when the signing became official, jersey sales only being a part of the effect Ohtani’s signing had on the world.

Shohei Ohtani joins a Dodgers team that ranked 7th in batting and 13th in pitching. The beauty of these stats? Shohei Ohtani does both. Shohei Ohtani’s ability to pitch and swing the baseball bat at a hall-of-fame level elevates the Dodgers already stacked roster into being an immediate contender instead of a “pretender.” 

California native, Jim Riherd, has been an LA sports fan for over 40 years, and has experienced the wins and losses of their baseball team. 

According to Riherd, gaining a hall of famer like Shohei Ohtani is “simply great, but it better pay off.”

Other than winning the World Series in 2020, the Dodgers have come up short in the postseason regardless of the successful regular season.

“We love our teams, and are fortunate enough to draw some legendary players in all sports. I do not see how [Shohei Ohtani] does not go down as the greatest ever, and I love that he will be a Dodger doing it.”  

Other than Ohtani, Who Else Did the Dodgers Add?

New acquisitions Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Opta Analyst Designer Briggs Clinard)

Coming up short doesn’t satisfy the rest of ownership in the LA “world.” Rather than just satisfying the fans and team with the last resort signing of Shohei Ohtani, the Dodgers went out and provided some reinforcements to solidify themselves as true contenders. 

The Dodgers joined a tough pursuit of Japan’s coveted right-handed pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto that was also being targeted by the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Giants. The Dodgers won the bidding war for Yoshinobu Yamamoto by signing him to a deal worth up to $325 million dollars, in addition to paying his posting fee of $50 million. A posting fee is a fee to allow player to move to MLB. 

The Dodgers also made a trade for right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow from the Tampa Bay Rays to add an Avengers-like starting five rotation for the upcoming season.

Glasnow being a LA native himself fits right into the equation that the Dodgers are cultivating, being ahead of the pack for the World Series trophy. Spending money does not stop in LA territory, as the Dodgers most recently paid right-fielder Teoscar Hernandez $23.5 million, James Paxton $11 million, and paying franchise legend Clayton Kershaw to join the show. 

The Lineup Strikes Fear in the Souls of Others:

Shohei Ohtani may be the highlight of this astronomical offseason for the Dodgers based on his ability to impact on and off the baseball field, however you may imagine what a potential lineup may look like, look no further than a lineup to knock hits outside the park.  

LA Dodgers Lineup featuring Mookie Betts: (Ashley Landis) (Spectrum News)
  1. Mookie Betts, 2B
  2. Shohei Ohtani, DH
  3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  4. Will Smith, C
  5. Max Muncy, 3B
  6. Jason Heyward, RF
  7. Teoscar Hernández/Chris Taylor, LF
  8. James Outman, CF
  9. Gavin Lux, SS 

A stacked lineup with a highlighted big three of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Shohei Ohtani attracts the attention of all fans, especially the loyal fans of Los Angeles. The level of excitement goes beyond the cries of criticism being  “unfair” or “cheaters”  instead translating to the thrill of the show. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers Big 3:
Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman (FOX Sports)

“It’s wild that Ohtani will be our DH, and then on the mound as he heals up,” Riherd said. “Betts easily is one of my favorite Dodger players already just on the fun, and kind person he appears to be off the field. Combining that with Freeman, which was a surprise, it should be a recipe for a championship.” 

The Rotation that Yells, “Strike! You’re out!” 

Just when you think that the Dodgers are out of money, they go beyond all boundaries and make the impossible happen, spending their money on pitching depth. As cliché as it may seem, pitching goes a long way in the game of baseball to establish the tone of every game. Here is what the projected lineup appears to be for the 2024 Season. 

Possible Pitching Rotation for the 2024 Dodgers:

The Projected LA Dodgers 2024 Pitching rotation featuring Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Walker Buehler, Bobby Miller, and James Paxton. (Clayton Kershaw also) (The Associated Press and Getty Images)
  1. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, RHP
  2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP
  3. Walker Buehler, RHP
  4. Bobby Miller, RHP
  5. Clayton Kershaw, LHP

Not only is this rotation stacked with pitchers that can go deep into the ball game, but this rotation on paper looks almost impossible to beat given most of these pitchers could be an ace for other teams. 

Save the Date!

The anticipation coursing through fans’ veins this upcoming season is at an all time high, with Shohei Ohtani being the initial spark to the sensation. Spending money as the Dodgers did makes one wonder if this is just the beginning for a revolution of true competitiveness. As other teams and fans may be excited about returning to the beautiful game of baseball, one thing stands above all: it’s time for some Dodgers baseball! 

A Swing or a Miss? 

By: Autumn Marin

Shohei Ohtani with his previous team, The Los Angeles Angels (Jim McIssac/ Getty Images)

Was Shohei Ohtani’s decision to sign that contract positive or negative? This is open for interpretation, and debatable. If he is happier in his new team, then it was a positive decision. But more serious sports fans may disagree. His contract, however, was the biggest contract in ALS history. 

It turns out that much of the $700 million would not be given to him immediately – the money would be deferred, and paid in installments, instead of all at once. It looks like they may have intended to convince him to join with money, and had him think he’d get more than he actually would.

In actuality, Shohei Ohtani was the one who actually recommended the payment deferral, granting the Dodgers more wiggle room this offseason to make the necessary additions.

Some may say Shohei left the Angels in the dust, but if the Angels with two MVP-caliber players in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout couldn’t even make the playoffs, you’d best believe Shohei would take a chance with the other side of LA. 

What’s the bottom line? The Angels quite frankly haven’t proved themselves as contenders for a while. As the Dodgers are just coming off of a World Series 4 years ago, it’s simply a no brainer to join them.   

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