On Wednesday, Shohei Ohtani showcased his two-way prowess by retiring the first 16 Astros batters, matching his career-high 12 strikeouts, and going 2-for-4 with two RBI in the AL West-leading Angels’ seventh win in nine games.
After a slow start to the season at the plate and on the mound, Ohtani looks back on track in his bid for a second consecutive AL MVP — and a massive contract extension.
As he continues to rack up historic accomplishments and paradigm-shifting performances like these, his leverage soars for his next deal — which could ultimately rival the biggest in MLB history.
- The 27-year-old is in the second year of a two-year, $8.5M deal signed in 2021 to avoid arbitration.
- He’s eligible for Arbitration 3 after the season and would be a UFA in 2024.
- If he wins MVP, he’ll be the 33rd MLB player to win multiple awards — and the 13th to go back-to-back.
In January, Ohtani said he and the Angels have held “no talks yet” about an extension, but it should land near Mookie Betts’ record 2020 deal with the Dodgers (12 YRs, $365M) — or the second-largest, inked in 2019 by Ohtani’s teammate, Mike Trout (10 YRs, $360M).
Last season, Ohtani’s MVP performance was one of the few bright spots on an underachieving team, but leading the Angels to their first postseason since 2014 could lock up his second MVP (current favorite, +350).