A batting lineup that looks like something out of a baseball game. The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a big investment and have one of the best top bats in the league.
Ohtani announced his move to the Dodgers on Tuesday (July 10) via his social media accounts. Posting the Dodgers logo in white on a blue background, he wrote, “I would like to apologize to all fans and officials for taking so long to make my decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.”
Around the same time, local media in the United States, including MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB), simultaneously reported Ohtani’s move to the Dodgers on Sept. 9. Ohtani’s 10-year, $700 million (approximately $92.4 billion) deal is one of the largest in professional sports history.
“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Angels organization, the fans who have supported me over the past six years, and the team officials who have been involved in the negotiation process,” Ohtani said. “I will forever cherish the six years I spent with the Angels,” said Ohtani. “To all Dodger fans, I promise to always do my best for the team, and I will do my best to be the best version of myself. Until the end of my career, I will continue to work hard for not only the Dodgers, but also the baseball world. I will talk about what I can’t convey in words at a future press conference. I am very grateful to the organization.”
Ohtani, who spent six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels starting in 2018, was one of the top free agents this winter. It was widely expected to be a “record-breaking” deal for either team. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Jan. 1 (KST) that “Ohtani could get at least $550 million (KRW 714.5 billion) in total contract value, with another source saying he could get as much as $600 million (KRW 779.4 billion),” which would surpass the highest contract in North American professional sports history (12-year total of $426.5 million, KRW 55.29 billion) signed by the Angels’ Mike Trout in March 2019.
Among other teams, the Dodgers have been among the most aggressive. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who recently called the signing of Ohtani a “top priority,” surprised reporters on June 6 by revealing that he and Ohtani met for nearly three hours at Dodger Stadium on June 2. “The Dodgers closed the team store and postponed stadium tours to avoid publicizing Ohtani’s presence at Dodger Stadium,” USA Today explained.
The Dodgers also reportedly called recently re-signed pitcher Joe Kelly to see if he would be willing to relinquish his No. 17 jersey. “Kelly informed Dodgers officials that he would be ‘honored to change his number,'” USA Today reported, noting that “a general manager of one team said there was no reason to ask a player to change his number unless he believed the Dodgers would sign him.”
The Dodgers reached the top of the World Series in 2020 during the shortened season, but finished the next three years without a satisfactory result. This year, after winning the district title, they ended fall baseball on a sour note, losing three straight games to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series (NLDS). The Dodgers needed someone who could provide a solid short-term boost to the team.레모나토토 주소
Ohtani had elbow ligament splicing surgery (Tommy John surgery) that ended his season prematurely, and he won’t be able to take the mound until at least next year. But the Dodgers realized that just having him on the mound would be a huge plus for their offense.
From the player’s perspective, they wanted a team with solid power. Ohtani hasn”t played a single fall game since reaching the big leagues. As part of the deal, he reportedly offered the team “unprecedented deferrals” in which he would receive a large portion of his salary after the end of his contract. It’s a sign of his intentions while easing the team’s burden.
Looking at the lineup alone, expectations for the Dodgers have been raised. On the same day, American sports publication The Athletic revealed the Dodgers’ projected lineup for the 2024 season. According to the media, the lineup was Betts (second base), Freeman (first base), Ohtani (designated hitter), Will Smith (catcher), Max Muncy (third base), James Outman (center field), Chris Taylor (left field), Jason Heyward (right field), and Gavin Lux (shortstop). The addition of Ohtani changed the balance.
The Dodgers’ top of the order of Betts-Freeman-Otani is arguably the best among the 30 major league clubs.
Betts, who broke into the big leagues in 2014, hit double-digit home runs for the ninth straight year in 2015 and set an AL record for most home runs in a single season (39). He also played center field, right field, and second base with consistency, earning Gold Glove National League Utility Player of the Year honors alongside Ha Sung Kim (San Diego Padres) and Tommy Edmon (St. Louis Cardinals).
Freeman, who was acquired ahead of last season, hit 20 home runs again this year (29) after 21 last year, and posted an OPS of over 0.9 in both seasons. Betts has been just as consistent, helping his team to a district title.
Already a proven 40+ home run hitter, Ohtani adds weight to the lineup and will be a key part of the Dodgers’ push to challenge for the pennant. It will be interesting to see if both Ohtani and the Dodgers can break the ‘han’.