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MLB

Angels avoid arbitration with Shohei Ohtani contract

With Shohei Ohtani looking to be headed to a record-setting arbitration at the end of the season, the Angels have given him a $30 million deal

Update:
With Shohei Ohtani looking to be headed to a record-setting arbitration at the end of the season, the Angels have given him a $30 million deal
Michael OwensAFP

The Los Angeles Angels have dodged a bullet, or perhaps simply delayed it, but either way they will be hanging onto their two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani for another year. And it has only cost them the bargain price of $30 million.

After signing an $8.5 million two-year contract before the 2021 season, Ohtani is set to become a free agent after next year. This winter, he was set to enter arbitration with the Angels, which was sure to be a record-setting process. As it turns out they have avoided the process with today’s one-year contract.

At $30 million for a single year, this marks the the highest ever for a player in his third year of arbitration, beating Mookie Betts deal with the Dodgers by 10%. Ohtani’s salary is set to raise by a significant factor as well, after earning just $3 million last year.

The Angels have several gaps in their lineup that they need to fill, and now with two big-ticket stars on their squad they may have to do some financial acrobatics to make it all work. Owner Arte Moreno indicated in August that he is exploring the idea of selling the team and it is unclear how this will change the fortunes of the franchise.

Ohtani is having a blazing season on both sides of the dish, running neck-and-neck with Aaron Judge for the AL MVP award, while his pitching stats puts him in the Cy Young race as well. Off the mound, he is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 161 innings pitched.

At the plate he is slashing .276/.359/.529 with 34 home runs, and a 15-game hitting streak on the run, the longest active streak in MLB.

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