All of the intrigue this winter led Shohei Ohtani to the one team that was believed to be the most likely landing spot all along. Even though there was some last minute commotion about nonexistent private flights bound for Toronto when the weekend began, it turns out Ohtani won't be leaving the state of California to sign a new contract.
On Saturday, Ohtani announced on his personal social media accounts that he had chosen the Los Angeles Dodgers as his new club. After six years with the Los Angeles Angles, he will now head over to Chavez Ravine for the next 10 years and for the tidy sum of $700 million. Though his new average annual value sits at an eye-popping $70 million per season, shattering the previous record $43 million per season set by Max Scherzer. not all of the intricacies of the contract are known. There is considerable deferred money and no opt-outs in the deal according to ESPN's Alden Gonzalez.
As mentioned here and on the most recent episode of From The Diamond recapping the Winter Meetings, any and all speculation that the Braves would be involved in the derby to sign a record-setting, free-agent contract that was expected to be north of half a billion dollars (and cleared even that bar by $200 million) seemed far-fetched to put it mildly. GM Alex Anthopoulos declined to comment on Ohtani directly, per league rules regarding free agents, but downplayed his club's pursuit of any position player (roughly translated -- hitter, since Ohtani is a DH) this winter other than Jarred Kelenic, whom the Braves acquired on Sunday.
I discussed the Ohtani signing with Reggie Chatmon on 11 Alive News and reacted to what it means for the mega-star, his new club, the National League at large, player movement this winter, and any effect it may have on the Braves beyond the obvious challenge of dealing with yet another MVP candidate in an already stout L.A. Lineup.