After winning the World Baseball Classic with Japan, Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani has added to the growing list of accomplishments in his baseball career. By 2024, he could be one of the highest-paid MLB players ever.
Ohtani, age 28, is entering his final season with the Angels. He is under contract for $30 million this year, the highest figure ever for an arbitration-eligible player. However, this is expected to be his last season with the organization.
- Shohei Ohtani stats 2022 (hitting): .273/.356/.519, 34 home runs, 95 RBI, 142 wRC+
A perennial MLB MVP candidate and in contention for the Cy Young Award, Ohtani has become the face of pro baseball. He will be a free agent this winter, becoming one of the most coveted players on the open market in baseball history.
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While the free-agency frenzy is months away, a bidding war involving the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees could lead to the largest contract in professional sports.
ESPN’s MLB insider Buster Olney shared on Get Up that he believes Ohtani could sign a contract worth $600 million next offseason.
Previous estimates for Ohtani’s next contract hovered around $500 million, with many agents and reports confident he would become the first player to earn $50 million per season. Based on the trajectory for salaries and increasing MLB revenue, $600 million might be possible.
- Shohei Ohtani pitching stats (2022): 2.33 ERA, 11.87 K.9, 33.2% K-rate, .202 BAA
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Any team that wants to sign Ohtani will likely seek to keep him on their roster for as long as possible, with 10-year contract offers viewed as the expectation. If that’s the case, using Olney’s projection, there is a path to a $600 million contract.
The best pitchers in baseball, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, now make more than $40 million per season. While Ohtani hasn’t pitched at that level, his numbers put him in the conversation every year. If you put him at a starting point for $40-plus million alone per season as a pitcher, it still leaves his impact with the bat and the influence he has on marketing and team revenue.
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There are 11 hitters with an AAV of $30-plus million per season and several others just below that threshold. Ohtani’s statistics at the plate warrant at least $25 million per season, especially at his age. Combine that over a 12-year contract and Ohtani could land a $600 million contract if he wants to sign with the team that will offer him the most money.