The first two-way talent that Major League Baseball has seen since Babe Ruth’s run in the early 1900s, Shohei Ohtani, will remain a member of the Los Angeles Angels for at least one more season after reaching a new contract extension agreement.
Amid the seventh consecutive below .500 campaign for the Angels, the organization, which sits 31 games back of the American League West division entering their latest contest against the Texas Rangers, has failed to reach the postseason for yet another year.
However, the front office’s latest move will keep their once-in-a-lifetime phenom in an Angels uniform for the 2023 season — pending any future trade.
“The Angels today agreed to a one-year, $30 million contract with RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani for the 2023 season,” the organization’s communications departed announced on Twitter. “With the agreement, the arbitration process is avoided.”
The $30 million figure sets a record for the highest ever for a player eligible for arbitration — previously set by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts with $27 million in 2020.
Ohtani, who has now spent five years — the entirety of his big league career — with the Angels after five years of professional baseball in Japan, has established himself as arguably the best player in the game today. After introducing his ability to both take the mound during games while also stepping in the batter’s box, Ohtani has since blossomed — earning himself AL MVP honors last season after blasting 46 home runs while also winning nine games as a starter with a 3.18 ERA in 23 outings.
This season, Ohtani remains an MVP candidate, though the votes may not fall in his favor considering the historic home run chase from New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge — currently at 61 homers. The 27-year-old will likely be no stranger to the MVP race on a year-to-year basis moving forward.
In 152 games played this season, Ohtani is slashing .276/.359/.529 with 34 home runs, 29 doubles, and 94 RBIs at the plate. On the mound, Ohtani is 15-8 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.031 WHIP, allowing 42 earned runs in a career-high 161 innings pitched for the Angels.
Many teams, including the Yankees, are expected to pursue Ohtani once multi-year payday discussions begin.