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Shohei Ohtani to be introduced at Dodger Stadium on Thursday

LOS ANGELES –

The Los Angeles Dodgers called a Thursday news conference to introduce Shohei Ohtani, who has not answered questions from reporters in more than four months.

The two-time AL MVP agreed to a record $700 million, 10-year contract last weekend, a deal that the team announced Monday and provides that 97% of the money be deferred without interest and not fully paid until 2043.

Ohtani will be introduced during a news conference in Dodger Stadium’s Centerfield Plaza starting 3 p.m. PST.

A unique two-way star as both a hitter and pitcher, the 29-year-old left the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent after six years.

He last spoke with reporters on Aug. 9, two weeks before a pitching injury that required surgery and will keep him off a mound until 2025. He had the operation on Sept. 19, but the nature of the surgery was not fully announced. Ohtani had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1, 2018..

Ohtani’s move from Anaheim to Hollywood has sent fans on both sides of the Pacific Ocean flocking to buy Dodgers merchandise and inquire about tickets on the secondary market. The team has yet to begin single-game ticket sales for next season.

Ohtani will receive just $20 million of his contract over the next 10 years, with $680 million payable from 2034-43 in an unusual structure that gives the team greater payroll flexibility in coming seasons.

Ohtani’s contract calls for annual salaries of $70 million, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. Of each year’s salary, $68 million is deferred with no interest, payable in equal installments each July 1 from 2034-43. The deal includes a full no-trade provision and provides for a hotel suite on road trips, a premium luxury suite for home games and a fulltime interpreter.

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Ahead of his 30th birthday on July 5, Ohtani has a .274 average with 171 homers, 437 RBIs and 86 stolen bases along with a 39-19 record with a 3.01 ERA and 608 strikeouts in 481 2/3 innings. Ohtani has 34.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), per Baseball Reference.

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