Any team could have signed Shohei Ohtani — even the Detroit Tigers

The way Shohei Ohtani's camp negotiated set up for any team to be able to afford him — even the Tigers.
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Shohei Ohtani contract has shocked the baseball world. Not just because he signed with the Dodgers for 10 years and $700 million, but also because of the amount of deferred money in his contract.

Many reports have surfaced that Ohtani is going to be makiing $2 million per year over the next 10 years, and the remaining $680 million will be deferred until the end of the deal.

This kind of contract is unheard of. We've seen contracts with deferred money in the past — everyone knows about Bobby Bonilla day. Chris Davis comes to mind as well.

But with the way Ohtani's camp was negotiating, it sounds like any team could have signed him — even the Detroit Tigers.

Getting a bunch of deferred money was part of the negotiating process for Ohtani and his agent in an effort to give the team he signs with some financial flexibility, according to a report from Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.

This is an incredibly unselfish move from Ohtani. It allows the Dodgers, or any team he signed with, to go out and make other improvements to the team after they signed him. It's clear he wants to win a World Series championship.

He's going to get his money, it'll just come after his playing days are likely over. It just shows you how good of a human being he is.

That leads me to my point: ANY team team could have given Ohtani this contract. There's very little owed to him for the next 10 years. Sure, that's a lot of money to be paid down the line, but that's 10 years from now. I'm sure the Dodgers aren't really worried about that. If they win a World Series or two, who cares about the money?

A team like the Tigers easily could have done this. $2 million a year for Shohei freaking Ohtani is absurd. Why would any team not do that? The Dodgers are a big market team, sure, but even the Oakland A's could have done this if they wanted to. Knowing what we know now, it was a choice by 29 other teams to not sign Shohei Ohtani.

It will be interesting to see if there will be any other deals with this much deferred money in the future. It will also be interesting to see how the next CBA talks go. This contract will almost assuredly come up.

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