Shohei Ohtani has agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season, the star’s final year of salary arbitration eligibility before free agency.
Los Angeles announced the deal on Saturday, which avoids potentially complicated arbitration for the 2021 American League MVP.
The contract is fully guaranteed and without any other provision. It is the largest one-year contract ever awarded to an arbitration-eligible player, topping the $27 million the Boston Red Sox gave Mookie Betts before sending him to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The $24.5 million increase over Ohtani’s salary in 2022 is the largest margin awarded to an arbitration-eligible player.
The previous record was $9.6 million, set by Cy Young Trophy winner Jacob deGrom when the New York Mets went from paying him $7.4 million to $17 million before the 2019 season.
The Japanese ace is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound with the Angels and has broken records dating back to the Babe Ruth era.
He is a candidate to win the AL MVP award again, along with the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who tied the circuit’s home run record and is close to winning the batting triple crown.
Ohtani is hitting .276 with 34 home runs, 94 RBIs and an .888 OPS.
The DH is fourth in the AL in home runs, seventh in RBIs and is on a 15-game hitting streak.
But he has more impressive numbers on the mound, going 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts. His opponents have a 2.07 batting average against the Angels ace.
The 28-year-old Ohtani will make possibly his final start of the season on Wednesday in Oakland and needs to pitch just one inning to reach 162 for the season. This will allow him to be eligible for the American League pitching leadership statistics.
Right now he’s fourth in wins, third in strikeouts and fourth in ERA.
He will become a free agent after the 2023 season and his future could be determined by the immediate results of his team, which will end its seventh consecutive season with more losses than wins.
On several occasions Ohtani has said that winning is an important factor when choosing his home after 2023 and Angelinos owner Arte Moreno is looking to sell the team.
#AngelsBaseball today agreed to a one-year, $30 million contract with RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani for the 2023 season.
The agreement avoids the arbitration process.
— Angels Baseball (@AngelsBeisbol) October 1, 2022
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