Shohei Ohtani is going to make a huge sacrifice so the Los Angeles Dodgers can build around him.

Ohtani will defer $68 million of his $70-million salary each season until the completion of his contract, a source told The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya. This means the two-way sensation will earn $2 million per season over the life of his 10-year deal.

The deferred money was suggested by Ohtani, who will receive the funds without interest from 2034 to 2043, according to Ardaya’s source. He is believed to earn $50 million annually outside of baseball through endorsements and other ventures.


MLB cannot challenge or cancel Ohtani’s contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who notes there is a specific section in the collective bargaining agreement that addresses this situation.

Article XVI of the collective bargaining agreement (deferred compensation) states the following: “There shall be no limitations on either the amount of deferred compensation or the percentage of total compensation attributable to deferred compensation for which a uniform player’s contract may provide.”

The deferred money will allow the Dodgers payroll flexibility and help them navigate the competitive balance tax. The annual average value of Ohtani’s contract is believed to be closer to $46 million for the purposes of the tax, a source told Ardaya.

Ohtani reportedly agreed to a record 10-year, $700-million deal with the Dodgers on Saturday. The deal was finalized on Monday.