Angels’ Shohei Ohtani says he’s open to discussing contract extension this offseason

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani said on Sunday that he is “very open” to discussing a long-term contract extension this winter, according to’s Rhett Bollinger

Just last week, Ohtani raised eyebrows by discussing his looming date with free agency, scheduled for winter of 2023. After disclosing that there had been no extension talks between his camp and the Angels, he declared winning to be his top priority heading forward. “I really like the team, I love the fans and the atmosphere as a team, but more than that, I want to win,” he told reporters.

The Angels, of course, have done little winning during Ohtani’s four seasons in the majors. Regardless of what happens in Sunday’s season finale against the Seattle Mariners, the Angels will finish with a sub-.500 record for a sixth consecutive season.

Los Angeles’ woes cannot be blamed on Ohtani. He’s the odds-on favorite to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting .257/.371/.588 (156 OPS+) with 45 home runs, 99 runs batted in, and 26 steals. The thrill of Ohtani, obviously, is that he’s also a supremely talented pitcher. In 23 starts this season, he compiled a 3.18 ERA (141 ERA+) and a 3.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Per Baseball Reference’s calculations, he’s been worth almost nine Wins Above Replacement. 

It’s easy to believe Ohtani when he states that his future plans will be shaped by something other than money. After all, if all he cared about was maximizing his dollars — and, to be clear, that would be a reasonable pursuit — then he would’ve waited to come to the majors until after he turned 25 years old. That way, Ohtani would not have been subjected to MLB‘s rules that suppress the earning potential of “amateur” international free agents. Instead, Ohtani came to the majors because he wanted to compete in what he considered the best league in the world. 

Soon, we’ll see if Ohtani doubles down on his original decision to join the Angels. Or, if he reaches the same conclusion that others have: that his talents, along with Mike Trout’s, are being wasted by a franchise that just can’t seem to put it together. 

Source link