Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
There’s no price the Angels could have paid Ohtani this season that would have failed to justify his on-field performance. They ended up working out a one-year, $30 million deal that is a preface to the injured two-way star hitting the open market this winter.
In return for that $30 million, Ohtani hit a league-leading 44 home runs with a league-leading .412 on base average and a league-leading .654 slugging average. Until those arm injuries kicked in, he was 10-5 in 23 mound starts and 132 innings of work with a 3.14 ERA.
Add it all up and you get a 10.0 WAR — far and away the best among the 15 players in question — with a 6.2 Win Probability Added. In November, when Ohtani receives his second Most Valuable Player trophy, those will be the reasons.
Some would argue against Ohtani’s value on the premise that his team performed so poorly. To me, that’s silly reasoning. It asserts that Ohtani wasn’t valuable because Anthony Rendon, Matt Thaiss, Reid Detmers and Tyler Anderson stunk. Give the man credit. Transactional grade: A