The 29-year-old Japanese free agent, whose agent said he has agreed a $700m (£558m) 10-year deal which would make him the highest earner in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, ended fevered speculation over his destination in a social media post on Saturday night.
The extent of the deal was revealed in a statement from his agent Nez Balelo, which described it as a “unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player”.
While the Dodgers have not made an official statement, their website carried headlines saying it was “Sho Time” and describing the deal as a “700m stunner”. MLB posted on X/Twitter that “Hollywood just added another star”.
Ohtani is unusual in that he plays as a pitcher and a hitter, becoming regarded as one of the best in the game on both sides of the ball since his Angels debut in 2018.
He won his second American League MVP award in 2023, despite an elbow injury which curtailed his season and will prevent him from pitching in 2024.
Ohtani wrote on his official Instagram account: “To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologise for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.
The previous record contract in MLB was the $426.5m (£340m) the Angels paid to outfielder Mike Trout as part of a 12-year deal in 2019.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year $450m (£359m) extension, agreed in September, was the previous highest in US sports.