The Dodgers made the biggest headlines of the offseason when they officially signed RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year, $700 million deal. While many thought L.A. might have gotten their golden goose and were ready to pivot to making smaller moves, Ohtani's contract details revealed the Dodgers likely weren't actually done hunting major free agents yet.
As pretty much everyone has heard by now (and potentially complained about if they're fans of other teams), $680 million of Ohtani's contract is being paid out via deferrals. That grants the Dodgers extra financial flexibility to fill out the roster, and so far, L.A. has taken full advantage of that opportunity.
Shortly after the Ohtani deal, L.A. made another big splash by acquiring RHP Tyler Glasnow and OF Manuel Margot from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for RHP Ryan Pepiot and OF Jonny Deluca. But that wasn't even the end of that deal. The deal was contingent on Glasnow agreeing to a contract extension, and eventually it was announced that in addition to the $25 million that Glasnow will make in 2024, the Dodgers signed him to a four-year, $111.5 million extension. This allowed the Dodgers to -- ONCE AGAIN! -- close on another massive free agent, landing Yoshinobu Yamamoto late Thursday night. It's tough to argue with the chain of events, but we've graded the moves that led to that earth-shattering conclusion (although Kershaw's still waiting...).
Shohei Ohtani signs 10-year, $700 million deal
There isn't much to dislike about this deal. Frankly, I wish I could give out a higher grade, because a regular A+ grade doesn't accurately describe how great this deal was. Dodgers fans were fed up with the pattern of 100-win regular seasons paired with early postseason exits, and the fact that L.A. let beloved players like Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger walk in free agency. While the circumstances surrounding each of those players (and others who left) varied, L.A. needed to make a big splash after a relatively dull 2022 offseason, and this signing was just what the doctor ordered.
There were rumors that the Dodgers were trying to get under the Luxury Tax threshold to reset the penalty before signing Ohtani. That was a large factor in the Dodgers' decision to let players leave in free agency, and whether or not L.A. avoided the luxury tax penalty, the Dodgers stuck to their strategy and invested big money into Ohtani. The deferrals, however, are what makes this deal an A+ deal. Ohtani not only has allowed the Dodgers to stay in the race for other big-name free agents, but he has also helped in recruiting pitches to those players, knowing that the Dodgers will hold up their end of the bargain if he could help steer a player like Yoshinobu Yamamoto to L.A, and spoiler alert, he did.