The Los Angeles Angels are a team barely hanging onto their slim postseason hopes. They're currently seven games back of the final Wild Card spot with 40 games to play. They have a 0.8% chance to squeak into the postseason per FanGraphs. Not great.
The Angels collapse following what was supposed to be a trade deadline to push them closer to the postseason has fans of not only the Angels, but all of MLB wondering what will happen with Angels players in the future. The one everyone has focused on since last season ended is Shohei Ohtani.
To the surprise of nobody, Ohtani's free agency has been gaining more steam lately as the Angels have given the media nothing else to discuss. The top question revolving Ohtani's free agency outside of where he will end up is just how much will he actually sign for? There's no precidence for this as Ohtani is not only the best hitter in the game this season, but he's an elite pitcher as well.
The 29-year-old is going to break records with whatever contract he signs. it'll be the biggest signing in MLB history, and one of, if not the biggest in sports history. Several ESPN writers did a deep dive into his statistics to try and figure out just how much Ohtani is actually worth. To put it lightly, it's an astounding number.
Shohei Ohtani's true value is a number the LA Angels cannot match if that's the going rate
The Angels do have a shot at retaining Shohei Ohtani following this season, but their chances should be viewed as minimal. They've simply done nothing to show Ohtani that they're capable of winning. Even now, with their most talented roster built around him by far, they're two games under .500 with nothing more than a puncher's chance at a postseason spot. Injuries have played a role for sure, but don't think Ohtani didn't see this team go all in and immediately collapse.
ESPN's Brad Doolittle calculated Ohtani's worth at $37.6 million annually as a pitcher, and $38.4 million as a hitter. Yes, that means his total value annually is set at $76 million based on his production in the last three seasons. The record right now for an AAV is $43.3 million set by both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in their deals with the Mets.
For a 12-year deal at the $76 million AAV, Ohtani would be estimated to earn $912 million. Obviously, in a 12-year deal, there will be a decline in production, and Doolittle is estimating an adjustment of $122.3 million to count for that. The total of a 12-year deal Ohtani would get in free agency according to Doolittle would be $789.7 million.
Now do I think Ohtani will get that much? No. I don't expect his number to start with a seven. However, I do expect his contract number to begin with a five or even a six. That's a very hefty sum for the next decade or even longer. It's worthwhile to keep the best player in baseball on an enormous sum, but there does become a point where it gets to be too much.
If the Angels do retain Ohtani, Arte Moreno is going to have to do things he's never done before. He's going to have to spend an absurd amount of money not only to retain Ohtani but to also have an actual roster around him capable of contending. Chances are, this won't happen if Ohtani is making $76 million annually. I don't expect it to reach this number, but if it does, the Angels really need to think long and hard before making an offer they might regret very soon.