Despite excitement around Ohtani contract, the Oakland Athletics remain quiet

MLB had a very busy weekend with the Ohtani news, but the Oakland Athletics are laying low.

Aug 19, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk (64) gets a
Aug 19, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk (64) gets a / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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It was an extremely busy weekend for Major League Baseball, with the news of Shohei Ohtani reportedly set to join the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ohtani was at first rumored to be signing with the Blue Jays, with a number of sports media personalities claiming that his signing in Toronto was imminent.

There were conspiracy theories abound, including a several hour affair that included flight tracking and wild speculation. The baseball world seemed stunned when the reports that Ohtani was traveling to Toronto were proven inaccurate.

On Saturday afternoon, Ohtani posted to his Instagram that he was choosing the Dodgers as his destination. It was later reported that his contract was for 10 years and $700 million, apparently the largest contract ever signed by an athlete.

The Ohtani contract makes the Athletics look pale in comparison

A number of teams, the Oakland Athletics included, became the butt of the joke when people started doing the math on how long it's been since franchises had gone since spending that total amount in payroll dollars.

For the A's, you have to take the entirety of their 2014-2023 payroll dollars combined to reach an amount equal to what Ohtani is getting in free agency. Per Cot's Contracts, the largest free agent signing the Athletics have ever made is the 3 year, $30 million deal with Billy Butler back in 2015.

That doesn't include contract extensions like the one the A's gave Eric Chavez in 2004, but even that deal was for 6 years and $66 million. So the largest contract ever given out by the A's was less in total dollars than what Ohtani will make in one year.

It's a sad state of affairs living with John Fisher as the owner of your favorite team. The really sad part is that he has a bunch of people in Las Vegas tricked into thinking their operations will change once they get a new stadium. But how is he going to afford top-tier free agents when his new market is so small that they'll be permanently locked into being a revenue sharing recipient?

In time, the people in Las Vegas will have to learn the hard way. For now, Oakland fans are stuck with this guy for at least a few more years. Hopefully this week brings some better news for the A's, but we'll see what happens.

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