Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Shohei Ohtani

by Alex Welch

The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year contract worth $700 million. The monumental deal is the largest guarantee in sports history.

Despite rumors circulating about his departure to Canada, Ohtani will not have to move far. The Dodgers have been rumored as Ohtani's top landing spot for what seems like years now, and the team finally brought him home.

Ohtani joins a franchise that has won 100 games in four of the last five seasons—of course, that streak was disrupted by the shortened COVID season in 2020.

Let's take a look and how his career has progressed and what the Dodgers can expect by adding baseball's most coveted player.

Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Shohei Ohtani

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Shohei Ohtani with the Los Angeles Angels

In six years with the Angels, Ohtani became a superstar. It wasn't always the easiest road to that point, though.

While he shined during his first year in 2018 and earned Rookie of the Year honors, he ended the year with Tommy John surgery which prevented him from pitching the following season. Then in 2019, Ohtani needed patella surgery that cut his season short in September. Then COVID hit.

But 2021 marked the beginning of his ascent to remarkable heights. He went on to win MVP in 2021 and 2023.

Last season he hit 44 home runs with 102 RBI, 20 steals, and a .304 batting average. His 180 wRC+ marked the highest in all of MLB. Oh, and he also went 10-5 on the mound with 167 strikeouts in 132 innings and a 3.14 xFIP. But another UCL issue popped up toward the end of the season.

Ohtani underwent his second major surgery on his right elbow in September and won't pitch until at least the 2025 season. Unfortunately, we won't get to witness the two-way phenom at full power, but he's expected to be ready as a hitter to start 2024.

Shohei Ohtani's Fantasy Impact with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Ohtani wanted to join a successful ball club. Well, he certainly found one.

Signing a player of this magnitude is an incredible boost for any team. The Dodgers now add a major weapon to an already potent lineup that is coming off a 100-win season.

RosterResource already has him slotted in as the second hitter in the Dodgers lineup for 2024, behind Mookie Betts and ahead of Freddie Freeman. How exciting is that trio? We'll see if Ohtani doesn't end up hitting third of cleanup for Los Angeles.

According to Jeff Passan, the Dodgers will still be able to build an even stronger lineup around him.

While he won't pitch in 2024, we could see Ohtani making a run at a Triple Crown next season. The Dodgers have one of the most favorable ballparks for home runs. And with a full season to solely focus on hitting, we know Ohtani will want to push for yet another milestone in his career.

Ohtani will bolster an exciting young pitching staff in 2025, assuming health isn't an issue. Bobby Miller and Emmett Sheehan are two promising arms, and if the Dodgers retain Walker Buehler, they're looking at an impressive group.

Shohei Ohtani's Departure Impact on the Los Angeles Angels

Well, at least they still have Mike Trout? Angels general manager Perry Minasian recently said Trout is "not getting traded. 100 percent."

That kind of makes you think he might be getting traded. But Trout does have a no-trade clause, and the details of his contract—plus his age—will make him difficult to move.

The Angels take a major hit without Ohtani. Taylor Ward and Brandon Drury only offer so much. There's potential in younger names like Logan O'Hoppe and Zach Neto, but it's an uninspiring lineup. The pitching staff needs Reid Detmers to become the real deal, yet there's not a ton of upside behind him.

You have to wonder what the Angels have planned from here. Despite fielding a team with Ohtani and Trout for multiple years, they still haven't made the playoffs since they were referred to as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim back in 2014.

Final Thoughts on Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani's ADP for 2024 leagues sits around pick 1.12 right now. That will surely bump up a bit now that he's a Dodger. Every league should feel comfortable taking a hitter-only Ohtani in Round 1.

Dynasty leagues probably weren't getting much of a discount even with the elbow injury. His price might not be as absurd as a $700 million contract, but still only 29 years old, Ohtani will remain one of the top fantasy assets for years to come.

It feels like baseball writers and fans have linked Ohtani to the Dodgers for ages. That dream is finally a reality.

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