• Baseball

Shohei Ohtani’s Video Pitch Helps Lure Pitcher Tyler Glasnow to His ‘Dream Team’ the Dodgers

AP Photo/John Raoux, File
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of Game 1 in an AL wild-card baseball playoff series game Oct. 3, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shohei Ohtani has already notched a win for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The two-time AL MVP’s video pitch helped recruit pitcher Tyler Glasnow to reach a $136,562,500, five-year deal with the team. Ohtani agreed to his own record-breaking $700 million, 10-year contract last week.

It definitely added a lot of points for me to go to the Dodgers, Glasnow said Monday in a video interview. “It was awesome. He just said he wants me to come on the team and hopes to hit some home runs for me and join me on the pitching staff the following year.”

Ohtani won’t be a two-way player next season after undergoing elbow surgery. Instead, he’ll be the Dodgers’ designated hitter.

I just want to pick his brain and know what he’s learned, Glasnow said. “He just seems like such a cool dude and probably one of the best baseball players to ever live. I want to be on a field with that guy.”

As part of the deal that sent Ryan Pepiot and Johnny DeLuca to Tampa Bay in exchange for Glasnow and outfielder Manuel Margot, the Rays will send the Dodgers up to $4 million. The Rays pay $2 million on Aug. 2 and have a $2 million payment due on Dec. 1, 2026, that is conditioned on Margot’s 2025 option not being exercised, which would cover the buyout.

Glasnow gets a $10 million signing bonus payable by Dec. 31 and salaries of $15 million next year and $30 million in each of the next three seasons. Glasnow has a $21,562,500 player option for 2028, and if he declines the Dodgers can exercise a $30 million team option. He will make a 1% charitable contribution as part of the deal.

Like Ohtani, Glasnow has his own injury history.

He had forearm issues in 2019 that limited him to 12 starts for the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2021, he had partial tears in the ulnar collateral ligament and a flexor strain of his right elbow. He opted for rehab, but that didn’t work and he missed the rest of the season before having Tommy John surgery. He returned late in the 2022 season.

We feel good he’s going to go out and be able to take the ball as much as we need him to, Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said. “We’re expecting full-go from Tyler.”

Last season, Glasnow missed a couple months because of an oblique injury. He ended up making 21 starts, going 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA.

The majority of the innings I’ve missed have been related to the same injury, he said, speaking from a vehicle with the sunroof open to reveal a blue sky, sunglasses dangling from his T-shirt and wearing a seat belt. “Ever since I got it fixed it’s never really been something that I’ve thought about. I’m looking forward to having some healthy seasons for sure.”

In 2020, Glasnow started Game 1 of the World Series against the Dodgers in Texas, where the postseason was held because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He lost, and the Dodgers went on to win their first championship since 1988.

It’ll be an awesome experience to play for my dream team, he said. “It’s always been one of my favorite places to play, so I’m excited to go back there and soak it all up again.”

Growing up, Glasnow would battle the “pretty crazy” traffic on the 32-mile drive from his home in Santa Clarita to attend Dodgers games and watch his favorite player, three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw.

I remember sitting in the stands and looking at the players in the dugout and having overwhelming jealousy, he said. “It’s like I have to go to school tomorrow and you guys get to play baseball.”

Glasnow had one season remaining at $25 million with the Rays and would have been eligible for free agency after next season.

I guess it’s never really been about making as much as I possibly can, he said. “It’s been a lot more about being somewhere I want to be and the life I guess I could live. For me, it was plenty of money. I’m super happy with the money and it’s somewhere I’m super happy to be.”

Glasnow said he called former Dodgers and quizzed them about playing for the franchise.

It’s such a similar feel to the Rays. I guess the only difference is that the Dodgers have a lot more money, he said, smiling. “It’s very winning is everything, but not at the expense of a personality. Everyone just seems very cool.”

Glasnow will wear No. 31 for the Dodgers in a nod to his old Little League jersey number. He wore No. 20 with the Rays.

I’m going back home, he said. “It definitely gives me like the butterflies.”

He hopes his return gives him a ring, too.

The only thing that matters to me is winning a World Series, he said.