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Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani signs record-setting 1-year contract

Ohtani and the Angels agreed to a contract Saturday to avoid arbitration.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts after the final out of the eighth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the price the Los Angeles Angels were willing to pay to avoid arbitration with two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani? How about $30 million?

Ohtani and the team agreed to terms on a one-year deal for that bundle of money Saturday.

We’re used to seeing Ohtani do things we’ve never seen before, and we’ve never seen this kind of arbitration deal ever before. Ohtani’s pact is the richest one-year deal ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, topping the $27 million Mookie Betts received from the Red Sox prior to the 2020 season.

The $30 million also apparently sets a record for the richest one-year deal ever given to any player, surpassing Roger Clemens’ $28 million contract with the Yankees in 2007.

This is just a sign of things to come for Ohtani, who is scheduled to be a free agent following the 2023 season. As he has become one of MLB’s most fearsome sluggers and a frontline starting pitcher, the 2021 AL MVP is close to probably setting other records on the free agent market.

This season, Ohtani ranks eighth in MLB in OPS (.888) and sixth in ERA (2.35). How much will he get when he hits the open market at the age of 29?

Maybe the better question is: Will his inevitable nine-figure contract begin with a 5?