Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani was supposed to shatter salary records this offseason.
He had established himself as a human cheat code. Not only is Ohtani a middle of the order presence with an enviable blend of power and speed, but he is also a top of the rotation arm. Teams looking for that middle of the order bat and an ace can end up with both in one place.
As such, Ohtani was expected to receive a record contract. There was speculation that he could be baseball’s first $50 million a year player, potentially setting both the overall and average annual value records. Even then, he could still be a bargain considering the type of player that any team would be getting.
How much will Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani get in free agency?
A lot has changed since that speculation began. Ohtani is injured, having torn his UCL. While it is positive news that the tear is not in the same spot as before, he will undergo some sort of procedure on his elbow. Ohtani also has every intention of continuing as a two way player going forward, something that will help him in free agency.
The problem is that this is his second procedure on his elbow. Ohtani had undergone Tommy John surgery back in 2018, missing the entire 2019 season while making just two starts in 2020. However, Ohtani had been healthy since 2021, showing the world what he is capable of on the mound. He has already won an MVP award, will likely add a second this year, and has earned consideration for the Cy Young award.
That is what teams will have to look at. Yes, there is some injury risk, especially as Ohtani is the sort of player no one has seen in a century. He is also someone that could make a dramatic difference on a contending team. He may no longer receive that long term deal at $50 million per, but a team could take a chance on a short term contract with a high AAV. Likewise, a long term deal worth at least $40 million per year is still likely. At that price, Ohtani could end up being a bargain.
Shohei Ohtani is still going to get paid in free agency. His injury woes could make the Los Angeles Angels star a bargain.