Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Contract May Reach $600 Million

Shohei Ohtani has been the focus of nearly everyone this offseason as MLB’s most coveted free agent in history decides on his next team.

Nearly every big market team was involved in the sweepstakes for Ohtani, but some have started to shift their focus away as they feel there’s no chance of getting a deal done. As for the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are still considered the favorites based on their location, winning history, financial strength and forward-thinking front office.

Ohtani was believed to be meeting with the finalists for his services over the weekend, and the feeling among MLB executives is the two-way star will pick his next team during the Winter Meetings, which begin on December 3.

As the Ohtani sweepstakes are coming to a close, his contract is expected to be a historically-high figure, which could even reach $600 million, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN:

The Ohtani extravaganza is barreling toward the finish line, and when he finally agrees to a deal, the number, sources said, will surge well beyond $500 million. One source said he believes Ohtani will receive a contract for at least $550 million. Another said the bidding could reach $600 million.

On the field, Ohtani is unlike anything the game has ever seen.

Ohtani batted .304/.412/.654 with 102 runs scored, 151 hits, 26 doubles, eight triples, 44 home runs, 95 RBI and 20 stolen bases across 135 games as a DH for the Los Angeles Angels this year. He also went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts and tossed his first career shutout on July 27 at Detroit.

Although he will not pitch during the 2024 season, that has not caused teams to shy away from pursuing him, partly because of his value off the field.

Ohtani brings more marketing value to his next club than any other player has in baseball. During the 2023 season, the Japanese superstar earned endorsements worth nearly five times more than the next closest player.

His presence on any club will sell increased tickets, merchandise, and provide many marketing opportunities, both domestic and international. Ohtani is baseball’s unicorn both on and off the field, so his contract will pay for itself.

Dodgers ‘top contenders’ for Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto

With the Winter Meetings underway, the Dodgers remain among the favorites to sign both Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The prospect of signing Ohtani and Yamamoto was never far-fetched for the Dodgers, who have the need and financial flexibility to add both players.

Whether they are able to sign either or both remains to be seen, but the club is being aggressive trying to add talent to their organization.

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