Why Tuesday MLB lockout deadline could be career-altering for Shohei Ohtani

Sep 18, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA;  Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels
Sep 18, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday is the new deadline that MLB has set to make a deal for this lockout to be over and for a full 162-game season to be played. It's perplexing as to why MLB canceled games in the first place, in that case, if they could just make a new deadline. It goes to show that the owners and league aren't acting in good faith, so don't get your hopes up.

The deal is that if there is no CBA agreement by the deadline, another week of games will be canceled. Six games have already been canceled for the LA Angels as well as all other teams. This deadline is most important, however, due to how it can affect Shohei Ohtani's free agency date.

Ohtani is set to be a free agent after the 2023 season, but if this season has enough games canceled, it won't count as a year of service time for Ohtani. Therefore, he would be arbitration eligible for another year. MLB players are arbitration eligible if they have three-plus years of Big League service time but less than six. If enough games are canceled, Ohtani has a higher chance of this fifth season not counting towards Major League service time.

Shohei Ohtani could be an LA Angel for longer if a deal isn't done on Tuesday.

While all LA Angels fans want Shohei Ohtani to stay as long as possible, we also want a deal done because we want baseball. Nobody will be rooting for a deal not to get done so we can unfairly lock Ohtani in for another year. I'm by no means saying to root for a deal not to get done. Again, if it doesn't we're getting even more games thrown out than just the six games already canceled.

It has been speculated by many, however, that the reason Arte Moreno in particular has been stubborn on compromising on and expediting this lockout process is because he doesn't necessarily face negative consequences for missed games. He actually benefits from it, by being able to keep Ohtani as well as his money.

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Perhaps this is why he was reluctant to extending Ohtani while he could before the lockout. Ohtani said that he has had zero negotiations about an extension--even when the team was allowed to negotiate with players.