When it was reported Shohei Ohtani was deferring the vast majority of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, basically everyone had something to say. Dodgers fans were even more thrilled about the deal because not only did they land a once-in-a-generation player, but the team now still has plenty of room to improve their roster elsewhere.
Others were less kind and called for changes to the CBA to prevent these sorts of contracts from happening, called the Dodgers mean names, or fundamentally didn't understand what was going on and claimed the Dodgers were outright cheating.
However, a lot of the reactions were just objectively hilarious. Former Dodgers star Justin Turner falls firmly in that camp as his reaction was succinct, but was also pretty much perfect. It had some flavor, too, as he took a shot at his former team.
Justin Turner's response to Shohei's contract was hilarious, but also made a good point
Turner was a stud during his time with the Dodgers. He made two All-Star teams in his nine seasons with the club while slashing .296/.375/.490. While his time in LA came to an end after the 2022 season, he is clearly still watching what LA is up to these days along with everyone else. He's also clearly been affected by the Dodgers letting him go since he's commented on it a number of times over the last year.
And now this comment about the Ohtani deal is clearly another dig at the front office/ownership group. They couldn't afford Turner's $16 million salary after the 2022 season, but sure, $700 million for Ohtani! That makes sense.
Anyway, it's probably safe to say LA's ownership isn't actually looking to sell anytime soon. The team prints money as things stand now and their revenues are only going to increase with Ohtani in the fold. The two-way star is getting paid a lot of money to be sure, but the marketing opportunities ($) from having him on the roster alone are going to be a cash cow, and that doesn't even take into account ticket sales or his production on the field. Shohei is good for business, period.
However, JT is absolutely right that the $680 million bill that's going to come starting in 2034 to the tune of $68 million a year is a lot of money not matter how you slice it. Ohtani did the Dodgers a solid by not charging any interest and prevented the deal from becoming the infamous Bobby Bonilla contract, but LA will be forking over large checks to Ohtani long after his playing days are over.
The nightmare scenario is that Ohtani somehow flames out or becomes and injury liability. If that were to happen, the Dodgers could weather the storm now in terms of payroll, but it would also saddle LA with a terrible debt AND severely hurt the value of the franchise overall even if Guggenheim wanted to cut bait and sell the team.
To paraphrase Turner, that is a tomorrow problem. For now, LA's deal with Ohtani looks even better than it did over the weekend. It's now up to the Dodgers to make the most of it and hope that everything works out.
For Turner? We certainly get why he felt the need to chime in, but maybe it's time to move on.