Shohei Ohtani helped the Dodgers lure Tyler Glasnow: Sources
If there’s one thing that’s clear about Shohei Ohtani’s first week as a Dodger, it’s that he doesn’t want his new organization to stop with him.
“It was important to Shohei that this wasn’t the one move we were going to make,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Thursday, as the club introduced its new star.
It turns out that Ohtani had already been pitching the Dodgers’ next move, as sources told The Athletic that the two-way superstar sent Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow a video trying to woo him to Los Angeles.
In the video Ohtani expressed that he wished he could share a rotation with Glasnow this season. Ohtani won’t pitch for the Dodgers in 2024 as he recovers from elbow surgery). “But,” the superstar said, “I want to hit some home runs for you.”
The Dodgers had been engaged in serious trade conversations with the Rays for close to a week, with one source saying the framework for an eventual trade had come together last week after Dodgers and Rays personnel met at a soiree at country music star Brad Paisley’s Nashville, Tenn. ranch. Ultimately, Glasnow and outfielder Manuel Margot would come to Los Angeles in exchange for pitcher Ryan Pepiot and outfielder Jonny DeLuca. And as the hundreds of chairs emptied from Ohtani’s introductory press conference on Thursday, news of the trade broke.
The deal, which has not yet been finalized as of Friday afternoon, was contingent on Glasnow inking a long-term contract extension, a contract that sources told The Athletic will pay Glasnow (who is owed $25 million this season) an additional $110 million over the next four years. The deal also carries an option for 2028: The Dodgers can pick up a $30 million club option, and Glasnow can pick up a $20 million player option for the year if the Dodgers decline it.
For Ohtani, who spoke openly about his desire for championships and for the club to build around him, it was his first successful pitch as a Dodger.
Ohtani, of course, had already been busy on that front, headlining the Dodgers’ star-studded tour of Dodger Stadium on Tuesday when the club hosted Japanese free-agent right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, according to sources. The club’s pitching staff remains an area of need even after adding the 30-year-old Glasnow, and the Dodgers’ pursuit of Yamamoto has continued in part because of how Ohtani structured his contract. The series of massive deferrals, Ohtani explained Thursday, were in large part because “that’s going to help the Dodgers be able to sign better players and make a better team,” he said.
“I felt like that was worth it.”
It’s a series of wishes the Dodgers have sought to grant, with Ohtani himself putting his finger on the pulse by staking his claim with the club’s front office and ownership group through a rare “key man” clause in his contract.
“(We) gave our pledge,” Friedman said, referring to the team’s goal to keep adding.
Ohtani, for his part, has added a third dimension to his game to help make it happen: recruiting coordinator. It’s already helped the Dodgers.
(Tyler Glasnow got Shohei Ohtani’s first pitch as a Dodgers: David Berding / Getty Images)