How much money is too much money for Shohei Ohtani?
In Tuesday night’s epic World Baseball Classic final between the United States and Japan, we were served up with a dream matchup between Ohtani and his Angels teammate Mike Trout. Often regarded as the two best players in the game, they went head-to-head in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Japan holding on to a 3-2 lead. And Ohtani struck him out on a full count in a duel for the ages.
According to Codify Baseball, Trout has only swung through three pitches in the same at-bat 24 times out of 6,174 plate appearances.
The 28-year-old Ohtani is on top of the baseball world right now as he enters the final season of his current contract with the Angels. He made the All-WBC team as a player and a pitcher, further cementing his status as today's Babe Ruth.
Big-spending teams already have to be stuffing cash in the safe in an effort to land the two-way superstar.
After whiffing on a $360 million offer to Aaron (Arson?) Judge this past offseason and seeing the $315 million pact with Carlos Correa dissolve over medical issues, along with a $310 million offer to Bryce Harper in 2019, will the Giants try to lure in Ohtani next year?
Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” suggested that Ohtani is deserving of a $75 million annual contract.
Currently, New York Mets right-handers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are the top paid players in the game, making $43.3 million this season. A $75 million average annual value for Ohtani would represent a whopping 42.7 percent raise from the Mets duo.
Mark Willard of 95.7 The Game’s “Willard & Dibs” brought up a counterpoint to Hill’s price tag.
There is no hard salary cap in MLB, only a competitive balance tax that Mets owner Steve Cohen has completely ignored while assembling a roster in Joe Lacob/Warriors-like fashion. The Giants are still valued as MLB’s fifth-most valuable franchise at $3.5 billion, will they go above-and-beyond for an all-time talent like Ohtani in his prime?
Undoubtedly, Ohtani would put butts in seats and the Giants are just 11th in spending ($182.5 million) with Joc Pederson’s $19.6 million qualifying offer making him the highest-paid player on the team. California’s high taxes have spurned off players like Harper in the past and the Mets, Dodgers and Yankees figure to be in the mix for Ohtani, so Hill’s exorbitant guess might not be too far off from the final figure.
The next year will be rife with Ohtani rumors and speculation, so strap in.