Shohei Ohtani Gives Angels Opportunity to Match Dodgers' Offer

Major Shift in MLB as Ohtani Makes Historic Move.

by Nouman Rasool
Shohei Ohtani Gives Angels Opportunity to Match Dodgers' Offer
© Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

In a groundbreaking move that is sending shockwaves through Major League Baseball, Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese sensation, has inked a historic $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This deal not only marks Ohtani as a pivotal figure in the Dodgers' roster but also sets a new benchmark in sports contracts in the United States, surpassing even the likes of soccer superstar Leo Messi.

The journey to this colossal agreement, however, was not without its drama. Before donning the Dodgers' colors, Ohtani and his agent, Nez Balelo, presented his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, with the opportunity to match the staggering offer.

Despite their efforts, the Angels, led by owner Arte Moreno, ultimately fell short in retaining the star player. This development was confirmed by Balelo in an extensive 90-minute interview with USA TODAY Sports, where he expressed a profound sense of achievement and a surreal feeling accompanying the deal's closure.

"It's so surreal. I just took it in, took a deep breath, and detoxed from everything," Balelo remarked, reflecting on the intense negotiations. Balelo also highlighted Ohtani's unprecedented approach to the negotiations, one that he describes as an act of unparalleled altruism and a burning desire to win.

Contrary to the norms of high-stakes sports contracts, Ohtani's focus was not on the immediate monetary gain but on a broader vision of contributing to a team's competitiveness. "He didn't care at all about present value inflation.

And you know what, neither do I," Balelo said. Ohtani's decision to forgo a higher immediate salary in favor of long-term team flexibility speaks volumes of his character and commitment to the sport. "He should be commended for this," Balelo added.

"He didn't want to tie up a team with his salary. He said, 'How can I contribute to a team and allow them to remain competitive?' So he took the most selfless approach possible and deferred everything." With his first press conference as a Dodger already under his belt, Ohtani is poised to begin his new chapter under manager Dave Roberts.

His landmark contract not only sets a new standard in professional sports compensations but also illustrates a unique blend of personal sacrifice and ambition, paving the way for a new era in the MLB.

Shohei Ohtani Angels Dodgers