HomeTrending MLB NewsIs Ohtani the tip of the iceberg for Dodgers and Japanese players?

Is Ohtani the tip of the iceberg for Dodgers and Japanese players?

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Now that the ink has dried on the biggest sports contract of all time (which, by the way, is over $150M more than the second-biggest sports contract of all time), the analysis can begin. 

The value Shohei Ohtani will bring
to the Dodgers will be debated for the next two decades, particularly when L.A.
is on the hook for all of the dough he will be owed long after he’s no longer
on the team or even in the league.

But whether he pitches or not, Ohtani is clearly a phenomenal
talent who will immediately help the Dodgers win. And while the team wants him
to bring championship trophies to Chavez Ravine, they may also be focused on
something else he can bring: other Japanese stars.

MLB baseball insider Jeff Passan recently appeared on The Tony Kornheiser Show, and he offered some interesting tidbits about Ohtani.
In addition to saying that he’s so popular in Japan that he would easily be
elected to the highest office, Passan said that the Dodgers have another reason
for shelling out so much money for him.

“What the Dodgers want to do is own the Japanese market,”
Passan said. “Not just on a business side, but on the baseball side, too.
Because beyond Ohtani, there is a generation of baseball players in Japan right
now that’s really, really good. We’re seeing Yoshinobu Yamamoto who’s
maybe going to get $300M as a free agent.”

Does this mean that the Dodgers are the frontrunners for the
prized pitcher? Possibly, though Passan thinks he’ll end up in New York. The
pipeline from Japan to L.A. could be opened, however, and Ohtani may be the
reason why.

Continued Passan: “Even beyond Yamamoto, Roki Sasaki is 22
years old and might have the best stuff in the world right now. He’s going to
come over to Major League Baseball eventually and if he sees the guy who helped
lead him to a World Baseball Classic championship this spring on the Dodgers, he’s
certainly going to consider them.”

For
this reason and the obvious attributes Ohtani immediately brings to the table, it
may turn out that his enormous contract ends up being a pretty big bargain. 

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