The recent signing of Shohei Ohtani to a $700 million contract by the Los Angeles Dodgers has been a topic of much discussion and debate. While some may argue that the team overpaid for the two-way star, former outfielder Jerry Hairston disagrees. In an exclusive interview with TMZ Sports, Hairston expressed his belief that Ohtani is worth every penny.
One of the main concerns surrounding Ohtani’s signing was his pitching career, which has been affected by a second Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. However, Hairston confidently stated that he believes Ohtani will be able to return to the mound in 2025. This optimism in Ohtani’s ability to overcome his injury and perform at a high level is a key factor in Hairston’s support of the Dodgers’ investment.
Entering His Prime as a Hitter
In addition to his pitching prowess, Hairston also highlighted Ohtani’s skills as a batter. At 29 years old, Ohtani is considered to be entering the prime of his career, making his potential with the bat even more exciting. Hairston’s belief in Ohtani’s ability to continue improving as a hitter further justifies the Dodgers’ decision to invest in him.
Perhaps the most significant factor in justifying the $700 million price tag is the revenue Ohtani brings to the team. According to Hairston, Ohtani alone generates anywhere from $70 to $85 million in revenue. This significant financial impact makes Ohtani a valuable asset for the Dodgers and demonstrates why the team was willing to make such a substantial investment in him.
Hairston also commended the contract structure, highlighting the fact that the majority of the contract ($680 million) is deferred for an entire decade. This deferred payment approach allows the Dodgers to allocate resources to surrounding Ohtani with additional talent in the coming years, ensuring a competitive roster. Hairston sees this as a smart move by the team, taking advantage of the financial flexibility provided by the deferred payments.
It is clear that Jerry Hairston fully supports the Dodgers’ decision to sign Shohei Ohtani to a $700 million contract. Hairston’s confidence in Ohtani’s ability to overcome his injury and excel both as a pitcher and hitter, as well as the significant revenue he generates, justifies the team’s investment. The deferred payment structure, which allows for future flexibility in roster construction, further adds to the value of the deal. With Hairston’s endorsement and analysis, it becomes evident that the Dodgers did not overpay for Ohtani but made a strategic investment in a player who brings immense value to the team.