Shohei Ohtani's free agency coverage has been unlike anything seen in the sport of baseball before. Atlanta Braves fans' knew Ohtani coming to Atlanta was about as likely as finding a southeastern native that hates Waffle House. However, this just turned into about the worst situation imaginable for Atlanta. Not only did Ohtani come over to the National League, he just signed with one of the Braves biggest competitors of the past decade.
The official reported number will blow your mind. For the light price of $700 million across ten years, Ohtani is now a Los Angeles Dodger. It is the largest guaranteed contract ever handed out in sports history. It was hard to ever dislike Ohtani, but seeing him sport Dodger blue will certainly make it a possibility.
To make matters worse, all reports indicate Ohtani is getting "unprecedented defferals" in his contract. Meaning, his grandkids' kids are probably going to be taken care of. We await more information on this earth-shattering contract, but it's also been reported that these deferrals in payments will allow the Dodgers to still field a competitive team around him.
The Dodgers already won 100 games just last season, en route to another NL West title. Their early exit from the playoffs obviously led them to believe that Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman (the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in 2023 NL MVP voting) wasn't enough talent to make them happy.
Before their recent trouble with Philadelphia, the Braves viewed the Dodgers as their biggest postseason obstacle. Now, if they do manage to overcome the Phillies in the NLDS, in all likelihood they will step right into a powerhouse Dodger lineup with Betts-Freeman-Ohtani staring them in the face. Scary, scary stuff.
Luckily for the Braves, the Dodgers pitching staff still needs help, and Ohtani won't be available to pitch until 2025. As for the players, thankfully Ronald Acuna Jr. won his MVP last year, because for the next decade he is going to have to battle the biggest star of the sport if he wants another. This is league altering move for baseball.
As for the Braves, their path to reaching the fall classic just got that much harder. However, if there ever was a team to take the mighty Dodgers head on, these Atlanta Braves should be up for the challenge. Get your popcorn ready we've got a lot of the offseason to go and now that the biggest domino has fallen, things should really pick up now.