Shohei Ohtani’s Record Contract Extension, And Endorsements, Will Make Him One Of MLB’s Highest-Paid In 2023

Shohei Ohtani has made baseball history, again.

On Saturday, the 28-year-old two-way superstar and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a one-year $30 million contract extension, avoiding arbitration in his final year before free agency after the 2023 season. It’s the largest single-season salary ever for an arbitration-eligible player. To this point, Ohtani had earned $12.3 million in career on-field earnings, according to Spotrac.

The deal has put Ohtani in a position to be one of the highest-paid players in baseball. Despite the fact that 15 others are slated to earn more on the field, his global superstardom has translated into massive success off the field. Forbes estimates that Ohtani earns $20 million annually in endorsements before taxes and agents’ fees, making him the most prolific pitchman in baseball. MLB’s next highest earner off the field was Bryce Harper at $6.5 million.

With good looks, charisma and an affable demeanor, Ohtani has found dual success on both sides of the Pacific. He has 15 partnerships that include Asics, Descente and Hugo Boss in Japan, and Fanatics, Topps and Panini in the US In the past year, he also added deals with FTX, Kowa, Mitsubishi Bank and Salesforce as new partners, and was the cover athlete of Sony’s MLB The Show 22 video games.

Following his contract extension, Ohtani is poised to haul in a combined $50 million in 2023. That figure would have ranked No. 2 on this year’s list of the highest-paid MLB players. New York Mets ace Max Scherzer led the group, with total earnings of $59.3 million, while Ohtani’s teammate and Angels megastar Mike Trout came in second at $39 million. Ohtani did not qualify for the 2022 list with total earnings of $25.5 million.

A native of Ōshū in the Iwate Prefecture of northern Japan, Ohtani’s rare two-way talent has drawn comparisons to Babe Ruth since the start of his MLB career in 2018. In 2021 and 2022, he earned All-Star honors as both a batter and a pitcher, and was the unanimous choice for American League MVP a year ago. More recently, he became the first major leaguer to ever record 10 wins and hit 30 home runs when he achieved the feat in September.

Assuming he does not re-sign with the Angels and has another strong year in 2023, Ohtani will reach free agency as arguably one of the most sought after, and potentially most expensive, players in history.


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