Angels and Shohei Ohtani Agree to a Record-Setting One-Year Deal for 2023

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Angels and Shohei Ohtani Agree to a Record-Setting One-Year Deal for 2023

Chicago Cubs

Well my heart certainly skipped a beat when I saw the news. But fret not, my friends. The freshly-signed, $30 million/one-year deal between the Angels and Shohei Ohtani will not keep him out of the free agent market any longer than was already expected. As of right now, he’ll still be a free agent after next season. And this deal may even make a trade, a sale of the team, or both easier to facilitate.

Shohei Ohtani Signs Deal with Angels

The details: Ohtani made $5.5 this season as he headed into his final year of team control, via arbitration. But instead of answering the question of How the heck do you pay a player who’s basically two separate All-Stars in one? The Angels and Ohtani settled on a record-setting raise and final salary number for 2023: $30M for one year.

Now, the explanation: Normally, a deal to avoid arbitration would be handled in January, while the two sides were negotiating a bigger extension for beyond this season. But because a true extension has become increasingly unlikely with the Angels, they did it today. Now, the Angels can head into the offseason with some additional cost certainty on the payroll side of operations as they approach a sale of the team. Also, they are securing some cost certainty on the Ohtani-specific side of the ledger, as they contemplate a trade.

His case was always going to be expensive, but it was also going to be extremely complicated. And that would have left (trade) buyers with next to no understanding of how much they’d be on the hook for right off the bat. This makes that a whole lot simpler.

Good move by the Angels, good bag for Ohtani. And the dream is still alive.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami