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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Ohtani and Soto headline blockbuster MLB moves

Photos courtesy of Mogami Kariya (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED) and Ian D’Andrea (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani (left) and superstar slugger Juan Soto (right) are on the move, as Ohtani signed a record-breaking contract with the other side of LA and Soto was shipped of to the Bronx in December.

Shohei Ohtani signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Dec 9. 2023, making him the highest-paid athlete in the history of the four major sports. The Japanese superstar surpasses former teammate Mike Trout’s baseball record who signed a 12-year, $426 million contract in March 2019, and Patrick Mahomes’ overall record, who signed a 10-year, $450 million contract in July 2020. Ohtani, who previously played for the Los Angeles Angels, now takes his talent to the other side of Los Angeles to play with the Dodgers. 

The two-way phenomenon has made him one of, if not the best player in baseball throughout the last 4 years. Not only can he hit at the plate, but he’s also one of the top pitchers in the MLB. Even with a UCL injury, he batted .304 with 44 home runs and an OPS of 1.066. In 23 games pitched, Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA. Ohtani, only 29, has won AL MVP twice in 3 years and was awarded the Best Male Athlete ESPY Award in 2022. 

After much speculation about where the superstar would end up, the Dodgers were always looked at as a good fit given the amount of success they’ve had in the last decade. The Dodgers also could pay Ohtani the amount he wanted, and it was well known that Ohtani has grown comfortable in Southern California, according to a Sports Illustrated article. Ohtani now joins Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and his former teammate and newly acquired starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto in Los Angeles, creating a powerhouse team looking to compete for a World Series title.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees acquired young superstar Juan Soto from the Padres on Dec 6. 2023. The Yankees received  Soto and Trent Grisham while the Padres got Kyle Higashioka, Johnny Brito, Randy Vasquez, Michael King and Drew Thorpe in return. Soto, a 3-time All-Star and World Series Champion is a powerful left-handed hitter who should benefit from the short porch in the right field of Yankee Stadium. Soto is now paired up with two other big hitters in the Bronx: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Soto, now 25, joins his 3rd team in 6 seasons in the big leagues. 

With the addition of Soto, the Yankees look to make a World Series run in the playoffs after a disappointing 2023 season.

Behind the Byline
Justin Misher, Apprentice Editor
Justin Misher is a 2023-2024 Apprentice Writer for the Wessex Wire. He enjoys watching the Knicks, Giants and Mets, hanging out with friends and going down the shore. His favorite food is steak and his favorite TV show is Friends.
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