Dodgers payroll 2024: How Los Angeles compares to rest of MLB after Shohei Ohtani’s monster contract

The Dodgers have long been among MLB’s top spenders. Under Mark Walters, Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Baseball Management, Los Angeles has never shied away from handing out big contracts, from star outfielder Mookie Betts to World Series champion Freddie Freeman. 

However, Shohei Ohtani’s new deal with the Dodgers is the granddaddy of them all. There has been no other contract in North American sports history that compares to the pact that the Dodgers inked the two-way superstar to, signing Ohtani for 10 years at a record $700 million. 

While it remains unclear exactly how Ohtani’s contract will break down year-by-year, as it reportedly includes significant deferred money, his 2024 payroll number figures to be a dizzying amount of money. It should smash the 2023 high of $43.3 million, which was shared by starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. 

So what’s next? Well, with that kind of a contract on a team’s payroll, they are sure to have one of the more expensive rosters in baseball.  


Here is a look at the Dodgers 2024′ payroll after the Ohtani contract. 

Dodgers 2024 payroll

No surprise at all here — Ohtani is set to be Los Angeles’ highest-paid player. The question is by how much. 

The two-way sensation could make more than double Mookie Betts’ salary of $30 million, which was the highest salary hit on the pre-Ohtani Dodgers roster. Not only that, but if you take the team’s three next-largest payroll hits for 2024 after Ohtani — Betts, Freeman and Chris Taylor — it is exactly $70 million, the average annual value of the two-way star’s deal. 

The caveat of Ohtani’s deal is that there are reportedly “unprecedented deferrals” that will keep Ohtani’s annual salary much lower than $70 million per year in the coming seasons. This was done at Ohtani’s request so he would not restrict the team’s finances and the Dodgers could build a strong team around him. 

ESPN’s Jeff Passan cited a source saying the “majority” of Ohtani’s contract is deferred. The deferrals will affect how much is counted toward the competitive balance tax (CBT) each year, as Passan explains

Typically, a CBT number is the average annual value of a deal — in this case $70 million. But depending on the size and length of the deferrals, Ohtani’s CBT number is likelier to wind up in the $40-50 million-a-year range, an enormous benefit for the Dodgers.

 Of course, there are quite a few players set to hit arbitration who still need new deals. The most significant names on Los Angeles’ roster that fall into that category include starting pitchers Walker Buehler and Dustin May, catcher Will Smith and infielder Gavin Lux.

In addition, Ohtani is not the only free agent the Dodgers have had their eyes on, so there figure to be more players added for the upcoming season. However, none will top the Japanese superstar for No. 1 on the Dodgers’ 2024 payroll. Or 2025. Or 2026. Or … well, you get the point. 

Ohtani’s exact salary for 2024 is not yet known, so we have not included it for that reason, but Rosenthal’s report. While the contract carries an average annual value of $70 million, the Dodgers likely will be on the hook for a significantly lower number in 2024.

For now, here is a look at the team’s updated payroll for 2024, according to Spotrac

Player Position 2024 Salary
Mookie Betts 2B $30,000,000
Freddie Freeman 1B $27,000,000
Chris Taylor 2B $13,000,000
Max Muncy 1B $9,500,000
Jason Heyward RF $9,000,000
Joe Kelly RP $8,000,000
Miguel Rojas SS $5,750,000
Tony Gonsolin SP $5,400,000
Austin Barnes C $3,500,000
Yency Almonte RP $1,900,000
Blake Treinen RP $1,000,000
Ricky Vanascao SP $900,000

Where Dodgers’ 2024 payroll ranks in MLB

It should be noted that with it being so early in the offseason, these numbers are absolutely going to change. There have only been a handful of free agent signings, but now that the Ohtani sweepstakes are over, expect more of the high-profile names to make their decisions. 

Before the Ohtani deal, the Dodgers sat at No. 15 with a payroll of just under $131 million for the upcoming campaign. After? Well, since the exact number Ohtani is going to be paid is not yet known, it’s hard to tell what exactly the payroll will be with Ohtani on it. The deferred salaries make it tricky to figure out, since it is an uncommon practice.

With that said, once the dust settles for the 2024 free agency period, the Dodgers are sure to be towards the top. There’s even a shot that Ohtani’s 2024 salary will be higher than a team’s entire payroll. 

Ohtani’s $70 million average annual salary is larger than the entire team payroll for two organizations last year — the Orioles and the A’s. Baltimore had a payroll of just under $61 million, while Oakland had one around $53 million. 

Here is a look at what the Dodgers’ pre-Ohtani payroll for 2024 looks like in comparison to the rest of MLB, according to Spotrac:

Team 2024 Payroll
New York Mets $223,901,859
Philadelphia Phillies $223,092,617
New York Yankees $202,973,333
Atlanta Braves $196,410,000
Texas Rangers $191,880,000
Houston Astros $188,148,141
Chicago Cubs $172,225,000
St. Louis Cardinals $157,396,667
San Diego Padres $147,705,453
Boston Red Sox $144,728,181
Toronto Blue Jays $142,054,284
Los Angeles Angels $138,588,094
San Francisco Giants $134,300,000
Colorado Rockies $131,185,000
Los Angeles Dodgers $130,910,000
Minnesota Twins $108,941,190
Chicago White Sox $98,943,333
Arizona Diamondbacks $97,260,716
Seattle Mariners $92,323,333
Tampa Bay Rays $89,751,212
Detroit Tigers $84,330,000
Washington Nationals $83,926,429
Cleveland Guardians $66,871,428
Miami Marlins $65,925,000
Kansas City Royals $65,460,000
Milwaukee Brewers $61,604,960
Cincinnati Reds $59,913,333
Pittsburgh Pirates $54,200,000
Baltimore Orioles $42,881,668
Oakland Athletics $38,615,000

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