Tribune: That California income is going … going … gone!

The immensely talented Shohei Ohtani, who is simultaneously a great pitcher and hitter, has left the Angels and signed a 10-year contract with the Dodgers for $700 million!

There are 162 games in the regular MLB season, and $70 million per year equates to $432,099 per game. With each game lasting approximately three hours, that amounts to a measly $144,033 per hour. That’s almost as much as California’s projected 2035 minimum wage, but I digress.

Ohtani’s contract calls for $2 million to be paid to him per year over the 10-year contract with the remaining $680 million deferred until after Ohtani is finished with the Dodgers. The deferred payments will likely escape California tax, assuming Ohtani will become a nonresident when his contract is up. Many details of Ohtani’s contract are not public, but escaping California tax seems the obvious reason for the massive deferral.

Mets fans celebrate Bobby Bonilla Day every July 1 to mark the nearly $1.2 million paid to Bobby Bonilla every year from 2011 through 2035 thanks to a similar salary deferral strategy signed by the then-slugger and the New York Mets when they bought out his contract in 2000.

Granted, Bobby Bonilla’s buyout was $5.9 million, but with deferral and interest, it turned into $1.2 million per year for 24 years. Ohtani’s contract does not call for interest paid on the $680 million deferral when it is paid out over nine years from 2034 to 2043, but the question remains: Which day will the Dodgers pick for Shohei Ohtani Day when they are shelling out more than $75 million per year to a former player for nearly a decade after his contract ends?