The Patriot Post

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The Patriot Post

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The Patriot Post

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Los Angeles Dodgers Dominate the 2024 Winter MLB Offseason

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Alexander Rico
Shohei Ohtani Japan World Baseball Classic Jersey (Photo: Alexander Rico 11)
Alex Verdugo’s fourth career walk ball. (Alexander Rico)

The MLB off-season has always been an exciting time filled with trades, free-agent signings, and team reconstructing. This period typically spans from the end of the World Series in late October until Spring Training begins in February. During this time, teams evaluate players, negotiate contracts, and begin strategizing for the upcoming season.

Notable players become free agents and draw attention as teams compete to sign them, while other players may be traded to different teams–leading to speculation and excitement among fans and journalists. It’s a dramatic but important time in the baseball world, with updates and rumors making their way across social media until the new season is up and in progress.

Free agency took a turn for the ages during the 2023 off-season with the largest contract ever signed. The Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani made history by signing a $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This contract would include what some see as a smart financial move for the Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani himself. Ohtani offered the Dodgers a deal where he’d take only two million dollars for the 10 years he would play with the Dodgers, then get paid $68 million a year for 10 years after his contract finishes with the Dodgers.

They ultimately decided to agree on this deal since the Dodgers would ultimately benefit from this by being able to spend that extra deferred money on more additions to the team as well as extending contracts. At the same time, Ohtani could avoid some taxes with his contract.

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To get more information on how others felt about the record-breaking deal, I went around BCCHS to interview some students. The first student I came across was Isaac Salmeron (12), and I asked him, “What do you feel that Shohei Ohtani has to offer for the Los Angeles Dodgers?” He stated, “I believe Shohei Ohtani genuinely has much to offer for the Dodgers. What he did with his contract with the team shows that Ohtani wants nothing but the best for their future. He wants the Dodgers to worry about improving all around rather than him getting paid his contract immediately. Skillwise, on the other hand, a two-way star like Ohtani will most likely help the Dodgers drastically and possibly help develop future stars for the organization.”

The Dodgers would continue to add to their rotation with the addition of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a Japanese superstar whom they signed for 12 years to a contract total of $325 million. Another addition for Los Angeles, was to finalize a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in which they would receive outfielder Manuel Margot and right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow then agreed to a five-year, 135-million-dollar extension with the Dodgers. The Tampa Bay Rays received pitcher Ryan Pepiot and outfielder Jonny DeLuca in the transaction.

From that point, most trades and free-agency signings on other teams had already been completed. To begin with, the New York Yankees went on to sign two well-known stars, outfielders Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo. Secondly, the Baltimore Orioles added star starting pitcher Corbin Burnes from Milwaukee, and relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel into their bullpen.  Their free-agent pitcher Jack Flaherty went on to agree to a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers. Furthermore, the Kansas City Royals proceeded to sign four notable free agents including left-handed pitcher Will Smith, who agreed to a one-year deal; right-handed pitcher Seth Lugo, who agreed to a three-year deal; right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha, who agreed to a two-year deal; and finally outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who agreed to a one-year deal.

 

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