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Shohei Ohtani joins big-money club with massive contract with Dodgers

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                                Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws on June 21.


    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws on June 21.

Shohei Ohtani, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Patrick Mahomes and Mike Trout. Five of the world’s top athletes, each with a long list of epic accomplishments.

Well paid, too.

Ohtani cashed in on his success today, agreeing to a $700 million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is almost assuredly the biggest deal in the history of the four major North American sports.

Ohtani joins an exclusive list of sports stars with financial records to go along with their record-breaking numbers on the field. Here is a closer at a couple of the highest-paid players in sports:

Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani is essentially two elite baseball players in one body, and his new deal with the Dodgers is a reflection of his unique skillset and immense value.

The two-way star was a unanimous winner of the AL MVP award this year for the second time. He batted .304 with 44 homers, 95 RBIs and 20 steals for the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander also went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts on the mound.

His $70 million average salary nearly doubles the roughly $42.3 million he earned with the Angels. It also exceeds the entire payrolls of Baltimore and Oakland this year.

Lionel Messi

Like Ohtani, Messi’s contract is indicative of his value to his team on and off the field.

Messi, 36, provided a big boost for Major League Soccer when he announced in June that he planned to join Inter Miami. He won the men’s Ballon d’Or — presented annually to soccer’s top player — for a record eighth time in October.

Messi’s Inter Miami deal is for 2 1/2 seasons, and it pays him between $50 million and $60 million annually — putting the total contract value between $125 million and $150 million in cash alone.

Messi is no stranger to big-money contracts. According to an El Mundo report, Messi’s deal with Barcelona that he signed in 2017 was worth up to $673 million over four seasons.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s successful run at Manchester United came to an abrupt end following a TV interview in which he criticized manager Erik ten Hag and the club’s owners.

He didn’t take very long before landing a lucrative new deal — albeit far away from the spotlight of top European soccer. Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr announced a year ago that it had signed Ronaldo to a contract that runs to June 2025. It’s reportedly worth up to $200 million per year.

Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes is one of the NFL’s biggest stars — and he is paid accordingly.

The 28-year-old quarterback just agreed to a restructured version of his $450 million, 10-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. Under the revised deal, the reigning league MVP makes $56.85 million this season, $44.5 million next season, $50 million in 2025 and $56.76 million for the 2026 season.

Mahomes threw for a franchise-record 5,250 yards last season, along with a league-leading 41 touchdown passes and only 12 interceptions. He has won two Super Bowls with Kansas City.

Mike Trout

Before Ohtani, Trout had the biggest contract in MLB history.

The slugging outfielder finalized a $426.5 million, 12-year deal with the Angels in March 2019. The three-time AL MVP has been hampered by injuries in recent years, appearing in just 424 of Los Angeles’ 708 regular-season games over the last five seasons.

Trout, 32, made his big league debut in 2011. He is a .301 hitter with 368 homers and 940 RBIs in 1,489 career games.


Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James agreed in August 2022 to a $97.1 million, two-year contract extension that runs through the 2024-25 season. James turns 39 on Dec. 30. … Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews signed a $53 million, four-year contract extension in August. The deal carries an average annual value of $13.25 million, which will make Matthews the NHL’s highest-paid player beginning in 2024-25. … Jon Rahm joined Saudi-funded LIV Golf on Thursday for what’s believed to be more money than the PGA Tour’s entire prize fund. Rahm said he would keep private how much the deal was worth amid reports that put his compensation in the $500 million range. The PGA Tour’s total purse in 2023 was about $460 million.


AP sports:

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