Thursday September 28, 2023

Ohtani in a Class of His Own Among MLB Off-Field Earners

  • Shohei Ohtani tops all MLB players in total earnings this year with $65 million.
  • His $35 million off the field is by far the biggest total among MLB players.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani celebrates with teammates.
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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MLB players make relatively little in sponsorship money from American companies compared to other top athletes, but the sport’s biggest international star is still cashing in.

Shohei Ohtani is the top-earning MLB player this year, per Forbes, after adding his $30 million salary with the Los Angeles Angels to the $35 million he makes in endorsements. 

That latter figure, by far the highest among MLB players, draws from both American companies like New Balance, Fanatics, and Topps, as well as Japanese ones such as Kowa, Seiko, and Kose.

Ohtani is also due for a significant raise as a free agent after this season. As both one of MLB’s best hitters and pitchers, he could be the first player to land a deal worth more than $500 million.

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Following Ohtani is New York Mets ace pitcher Max Scherzer, who is being paid handsomely by two NL East teams. His contract with the Mets pays him $43.3 million this year, while the Washington Nationals are tacking on an additional $15 million in deferred payments from a $210 million deal signed in 2015. 

Third overall is New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge, who makes $4.5 million off the field plus $40 million annually from the Bronx Bombers. 

Angels star Mike Trout, the only other player to top $1 million in off-field earnings with $4 million, was fifth overall after adding in his $35.5 million salary. The Mets’ Justin Verlander was one spot ahead with his $43.3 million contract and $1 million in additional earnings.

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