Blue Jays Want To Sign Shohei Ohtani Before He Joined Dodgers

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On Saturday, Ohtani agreed to a groundbreaking 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, valued at $700 million — making it the richest contract in the history of professional sports. This deal surpasses Mike Trout’s $426.5 million extension, which held the title of the richest MLB contract for four years.

According to a report from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays’ offer to Ohtani was similar to what the Dodgers ultimately offered:

“The Blue Jays’ best offer was in the same financial range as the Dodgers’, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. One source indicated that the Blue Jays’ offer was very competitive and they were ‘right there’ with it. The specific final amount is unknown, but being in the same range as a $700 million offer strongly suggests that the final bid from the Blue Jays was significantly above $600 million. When contacted through text messages over the weekend, Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins and a representative from CAA — which represents Ohtani — both declined to comment.”

The most lucrative contract in Blue Jays history belongs to outfielder George Springer, who signed a six-year deal worth $150 million in January 2021.

Missing out on Ohtani is undoubtedly disappointing for Toronto. However, the willingness of ownership to offer Ohtani well over half a billion dollars should be encouraging for fans, as it demonstrates their readiness to invest in building a long-term winning team.

There is also a positive aspect for Toronto in that there are still many impactful free agent hitters available, including former NL MVP Cody Bellinger, star third baseman Matt Chapman, veteran slugger J.D. Martinez, and former Blue Jays Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernández.

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