Does Shohei Ohtani’s yearly salary eclipse Orioles’ projected payroll? Dissecting two-way phenom’s $700,000,000 Dodgers contract


The baseball world is buzzing after Shohei Ohtani’s record-breaking $700 million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals a surprising fact: Ohtani’s average annual value is approximately $15 million less than the Baltimore Orioles’ current projected 2024 payroll. Contrary to what some social media reports are stating, Ohtani’s average yearly salary is not $3 million under the Orioles’ payroll.

Ohtani’s contract, negotiated by his agent Nez Balelo, is not only the largest in baseball history but also surpases some of the most lucrative deals in sports, including soccer star Lionel Messi’s and NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes’. Despite the eye-watering total value, Ohtani’s unique deal includes “unprecedented deferrals”, with the majority of his salary deferred to mitigate the competitive balance tax and cash flow burdens on the Dodgers.

Shohei Ohtani’s average yearly salary is higher than Lionel Messi’s and Patrick Mahomes’.
Shohei Ohtani’s average yearly salary is higher than Lionel Messi’s and Patrick Mahomes’.

The 29-year-old two-way phenom has been a sensation on the field, winning his second AL MVP Award in 2023. However, Shohei Ohtani’s stellar individual performances have not translated into team success, as the Angels failed to make the playoffs in all six of his seasons with the team.

Shohei Ohtani’s average yearly salary is just $15 million under the Orioles’ entire payroll.

Now, as Ohtani embarks on a new chapter with the LA Dodgers, the shocking revelation is that his AAV is just below the Orioles’ entire projected 2024 payroll. The Orioles, under the management of GM and Executive Vice President, Mike Elias, made headlines by signing closer Craig Kimbrel to a significant deal, the largest free-agent commitment Elias has overseen. Despite this, their projected 2023 payroll is still estimated at around $85 million.

Even after adding Craig Kimbrel to their roster, the Baltimore Orioles’ estimated 2023 payroll is just $15 million over Shohei Ohtani’s estimated yearly earnings.
Even after adding Craig Kimbrel to their roster, the Baltimore Orioles’ estimated 2023 payroll is just $15 million over Shohei Ohtani’s estimated yearly earnings.

While the Baltimore Orioles have made strides in bolstering their roster, questions remain about how much higher they can go in terms of payroll and whether additional expenditures will follow.

As the baseball offseason progresses, Shohei Ohtani’s news keep making headlines and the Dodgers’ impressive $700 million signing is drawing comparissons to other smaller-market franchises. The contrast between Ohtani’s historic contract and the Orioles’ financial considerations adds an intriguing layer to the evolving narrative of the MLB offseason.

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