“I’m still worth $500 million, if not more.”
How Shohei Ohtani’s (29, Los Angeles Angels) “pitcher’s season out” will affect Major League Baseball free agency history. Ohtani started the first game of a home doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on April 24 and was pulled after 1.1 innings of two-hit ball with two strikeouts and one walk.
The Angels’ announcement shocked the Major League Baseball world. They said he had a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right ulna and would no longer pitch this season. With the rest of the season virtually meaningless for the Angels anyway, eyes naturally turned to the 2023-2024 free agent market.
The general consensus was that Ohtani would get a 10-year, $600 million contract. That would be like signing a top-tier hitter and pitcher all at once. It would easily surpass the $426.5 million Mike Trout signed with the Angels in March 2019 (the most ever) and the $43.3 million Max Scherzer (Texas Rangers) and Justin Verlander (Houston Astros) signed with the New York Mets in 2022-2023 free agency.
The big question, however, is whether a pitcher’s season out will hurt his value in free agency. It’s not unreasonable to assume that it won’t be this year, but rather next year that his value will drop if he doesn’t make the transition. As it turns out, this is likely to be the case. 토토사이트
The Athletic reported on Friday that Ohtani should still have no problem signing a $500 million free agent contract. Even if he struggles to get more than $600 million, that would be enough to surpass Trout, Scherzer, and Verlander.
The Athletic wrote, “Ohtani is still worth $500 million, if not more. And he remains the best hitter in baseball.” They went on to note that Aaron Judge (New York Yankees) signed a nine-year, $360 million contract in free agency in 2022-2023. Basically, Ohtani’s value is higher than Jersey’s.
The Athletic also emphasized that Ohtani will eventually return to pitching, even if he doesn’t start the 2024 season. That means he’s still entitled to the superstar treatment, as Idoru isn’t an end in himself. “If he has a second Tommy John surgery, even if he can’t pitch in 2024, he’ll be back. He’s defied all the predictions and prognostications for the last six years and silenced the skeptics. Coming back from a second Tommy John will be difficult, but Ohtani will look at it as a challenge.”
In the end, Ohtani will only be judged on his ability as a hitter in free agency. The Athletic writes, “The team that signs him will pay him as a hitter. Anything he offers as a pitcher is a bonus. Ohtani’s next contract will maximize his value. The team that signs him won’t want to miss half of the 2024 season, and he’ll still have significant value.”
The Athletic even suggests that Ohtani’s future as a pitcher was inherently more uncertain than as a hitter. “