Sunday, December 10, 2023

Is Any Athlete Worth $700 Million?


Finally, the speculation is over as Shoei Ohtani is signing a $700 Million over 10 years. It is believed to be the largest contract in worldwide sports history, surpassing soccer superstar Lionel Messi's $674 million deal with FC Barcelona from 2017-21. In baseball, it surpasses now-former teammate Mike Trout, who agreed to a 12-year, $426.5 million extension with the Angels in 2019.

Ohtani is unique is that he is a designated hitter and pitcher and has distinguished himself in both roles.  Let us take a look at the record for the Los Angeles since he joined the team in 2018.

Over the same time, the Dodgers have done quite well without Otani.  They made the post-season in all those years but only won the World Series in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Ten years is a very long time.  Since Othani just had Tommy John surgery, he cannot pitch until 2025.  Will he be able to be both a pitcher and hitter in the later years of the contract?  The skills of any athlete will erode as he/she ages.  Will the Dodgers have to eat the last years of the contract?  The Dodgers' attendance as been quite good over the past six years.

Will Ohtan's presence on the team draw more people?  How much more revenue will the team get?

Time will tell if this is a good investment for the Dodgers.

Another consequence will be that free agents in the future will demand more money.  

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