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Shohei Ohtani, Angels Lock Up a $30 Million Deal for 2023 Season

Ohtani's new one-year contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible MLB player, surpassing Mookie Betts' $27 million deal in 2020.

Shohei Ohtani is having another MVP-caliber season for the Los Angeles Angels, and the team has rewarded him for his significant contributions with a hefty pay raise for 2023.

Ohtani agreed to a $30 million USD (¥4.34 billion JPY) deal on Saturday, October 1, just days before the 2022 MLB regular season concludes.

The reigning American League MVP, who is set to become a free agent after the 2023 season, avoided a possible salary arbitration hearing by finalizing next year's contractual terms with the ballclub.

Ohtani's 2023 contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible MLB player, surpassing outfielder Mookie Betts' $27 million deal with the Boston Red Sox in January 2020. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers that February.

Speculation that Ohtani could be traded to another team will continue in the weeks and months ahead.

The 28-year-old superstar took an MLB career-best 17-game hitting streak into the final week of the regular season. He had a line-drive single to center field in the first inning against the Texas Rangers on Sunday. 

The Angels recorded an 8-3 win, their eighth in a row, but their late-season resurgence isn't enough to qualify for the playoffs. They haven't reached the playoffs since 2014.

Ohtani is batting .275 with 34 home runs and 94 RBIs as the team's designated hitter.

He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA (fourth-lowest number in the AL) as a starting pitcher with 213 strikeouts in 161 innings. He leads the AL with 11.09 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Angels (72-86 through the weekend) complete their 2022 season with a road game against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, October 5. Ohtani, the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year, will be Los Angeles' starting pitcher.

Ohtani's Current Deal

Ohtani made $3 million USD (¥434.6 million JPY) in the first year of his current contract in 2021. He is making $5.5 million USD (¥796.9 million JPY) this season.

As the offseason approaches, Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said Ohtani's deal for 2023 is a significant development.

“It’s great for him,” Nevin was quoted as saying by MLB.com. “I think with the comfort level heading into the offseason, it’s a good thing. It’s not really my department, but managing him has been a pleasure, and hopefully we get to stay together for a while.”

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Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven.

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