Los Angeles Angels in tough spot with Shohei Ohtani extension

Oct 3, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) signals the bat boy after drawing an intentional walk against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) signals the bat boy after drawing an intentional walk against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Shohei Ohtani is a player unlike any seen in the majors in generations. A true two way player, he has not only established himself as a threat in the lineup, but also as the Los Angeles Angels ace. If he can stay healthy, the sky is seemingly the limit when it comes to his career.

The problem, at least for the Angels, is that he is getting closer to free agency. Ohtani is in the final year of a two year extension he signed prior to 2021 and has one more year of arbitration left. According to Ohtani, there have not been any talks about another extension just yet.

Los Angeles Angels in difficult spot with Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani would be in for a handsome payday just from his offense alone. He produced an excellent .257/.372/.592 batting line in his 639 plate appearances, hitting 46 homers and 26 doubles while stealing 26 bases. Any team would want to have that sort of production in their lineup.

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He also proved to be what the Angels were hoping for on the mound. He emerged as their unquestioned ace last season, fighting an early bout of wildness to post a 3.18 ERA and a 1.090 WHiP in his 130.1 innings, striking out 156 batters with 44 walks. Ohtani showed that he could be that top of the rotation arm that the Angels have desperately needed for years.

This also makes Ohtani difficult to value. His production and all around skill in the batter’s box make him the type of player that any team would want to have. Add that to his strong showing on the mound, and he is a truly unique player.

He is also a player whose next contract is impossible to predict. His pitching alone would seemingly put his next deal in the $12 to $15 million range. However, if one adds his production at the plate as well, Ohtani could command approximately $20 million per year. That number will only increase if he replicates his production again during the upcoming season.

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The Los Angeles Angels are going to be in a tough spot with Shohei Ohtani and a future extension. The game has not seen a player like him in decades.