Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels have made history. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Ohtani and the Angels have agreed to a one-year contract worth $30 million, the largest salary ever for an arbitration-eligible player.
Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels are in agreement on a one-year, $30 million contract to avoid arbitration. It’s the largest salary ever for an arbitration-eligible player and will be his final number before he hits the free agent jackpot following the 2023 season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 1, 2022
Shohei Ohtani, who made $5.5 million in the 2022 season, stands to earn as much as $24.5 million next year. Ohtani will then enter free agency following the 2023 season.
Still, it’s an interesting move by the Angels, who were rumored to be offering up the 2021 American League MVP in offers ahead of the trade deadline in August.
Now, they rewarded the two-way star with the biggest contract ever for an arbitration-eligible player. Could this decision represent a change in their thinking towards Ohtani’s pending free agency next year?
In other words, if they were willing to fork over this much cash for arbitration, what would they be willing to do with Ohtani’s Angels future firmly on the line?
That storyline, will, unfortunately, have to wait until next offseason. In the meantime, Shohei Ohtani is likely to keep doing what he did all of last year and this season: boost his already impressive value.
The Angels slugger and ace has arguably been better than he was last year, as he has clubbed 30-plus homers for the second straight season while raising his batting average in the process.
On top of that, Ohtani is a legitimate Cy Young award candidate. It’s no wonder that the Angels wanted to settle his arbitration case right now.
Now, all eyes will be on Shohei Ohtani to see if he can repeat as MVP.