Top MLB insider exposes eye-popping Shohei Ohtani extension secrets

Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels
Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani will be eligible for one last year of salary arbitration at the end of this LA Angels season, and he'll be a free agent at the end of the 2023 season.

An extension would be preferable as soon as possible, because Arte Moreno and Perry Minasian know the type of market that there will be for Ohtani come the 2023-2024 season. There was already an insane market for Ohtani last time around, and after seeing that he was certainly no fool's gold, every team could use a ShoTime.

Ohtani had revealed in the middle of this past offseason that the Halos were behind schedule on extension talks with him at the time.

On Tuesday, though, Ken Rosenthal dropped news (subscription required) about how the Halos reportedly "had informal discussions regarding an extension late in spring training with his agent."

Therefore, the LA Angels have clearly made progress on a Shohei Ohtani extension since the last time he spoke about it.

Rosenthal also reported that the Shohei Ohtani-LA Angels extension discussions included Angels officials accepting that Ohtani is going to need a record salary as far as its average annual value goes. Therefore, Ohtani would need more than Max Scherzer's $43.3 million per year average contract value.

Ohtani would most certainly deserve it--assuming he keeps up this level of play. He has hit .263/.350/.529 (.879 OPS) with a 137 OPS+ in his four-plus years in the Big Leagues. He averages 37 home runs per 162 games and was also named by his peers as the fastest baserunner in the American League.

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On top of that, Ohtani has also been a 3.55 ERA starting pitcher with a 3.53 FIP and 120 ERA+. He averages 180 innings pitched per 162 games and 221 strikeouts per 162 games. He's the best player in the world, and if the Halos aren't willing to give up $43.4 million per year or more to keep him, somebody else most certainly will.