Shohei Ohtani figures to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers the next 10 years, but he had other options.
The two-way superstar inked the most lucrative deal in North American sports history over the weekend when he signed a $700 million contract.
It was expected Ohtani would get the richest contract in Major League Baseball history, and he shattered former teammate Mike Trout’s previous record $426 million deal signed in 2019.
The Dodgers were the winners of the Ohtani sweepstakes, but there were other bidders.
Farhan Zaidi, the San Francisco Giants’ president of baseball operations, confirmed Tuesday his team met with Ohtani while he was a free agent and offered him a deal that would have made him the highest-paid player in baseball history.
After numbers were crunched, Zaidi said, the Giants upped their offer to $700 million.
“We were agreeable to it,” Zaidi said of the contract, via The Athletic.
However, Ohtani chose to stay in southern California, switching from the Los Angeles Angels to the Dodgers.
Ohtani just won his second unanimous MVP in three seasons. He would have won in 2022 too had it not been for Aaron Judge’s record-breaking 62-homer season.
At the plate, Ohtani led the majors in 2023 with a .654 slugging percentage and 1.066 OPS. His .412 on-base percentage was second, his 44 homers were fourth and his .304 average ranked ninth.
Ohtani was also brilliant on the mound, going 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. Among pitchers who threw 130 innings, his ERA was the ninth-lowest in MLB, and his K/9 was sixth. Among AL pitchers with that number of innings, he ranked fifth and third, respectively. His 10.0 WAR led the majors. Mookie Betts, now Ohtani’s teammate, ranked second at 8.3.