The MLB offseason has been filled with huge contracts for multiple players, but according to reports, next winter will see a deal that will surpass them all. Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star, Shohei Ohtani, will reportedly earn a contract that exceeds his teammate Mike Trout’s 12-year, $426.5 million deal when he becomes a free agent in 2023. Some agents even predict that Ohtani will be the first player in MLB history to earn a contract worth over $500 million.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post spoke to multiple agents who believe that Ohtani’s upcoming contract negotiations will break all records. Ohtani’s unique ability to excel both as a pitcher and hitter makes him one of the most exciting players in the league, and he undoubtedly deserves a historic deal.
In the 2022 season, the American League MVP put forth another stellar performance, hitting .273/.356/.519 with 34 home runs and 95 RBI while also achieving a 15-9 record on the mound with a 2.33 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and 219 strikeouts in 166 innings pitched.
Despite Ohtani’s incredible talent, the Angels have not been successful on the field. The team missed the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year, and team owner Arte Moreno announced plans to sell the franchise, leading to speculation that Ohtani will not be returning to the team when he becomes a free agent.
Heyman reports that teams in large markets such as the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Philadelphia Phillies will pursue Ohtani when he hits the open market. The Los Angeles Dodgers are also said to be working to get below certain tax thresholds to prepare for a potentially huge winter next year.
Undoubtedly, Ohtani’s upcoming contract negotiations and eventual landing spot will be a major storyline throughout the 2023 season.