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MLB Rumors: Shohei Ohtani Open to Short-Term Contract with ‘Exceedingly High’ AAV

MLB Rumors: Shohei Ohtani Open to Short-Term Contract with ‘Exceedingly High’ AAV
zach bacharContributor INovember 14, 2023

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels looks on during the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on Saturday, September 2, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Loren Elliott/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Loren Elliott/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani’s free agency is arguably the most notable storyline of the 2023 offseason, and it appears that he’s open to a short-term deal with a high average annual value (via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez).

“But people familiar with Ohtani’s thinking believe he might be open to a short-term deal with an exceedingly high average annual value, a circumstance that would open up a host of suitors this offseason,” Gonzalez reported.

The current AAV record in baseball is $43.3 million, which Ohtani would almost certainly surpass.

After six seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Angels with no postseason appearances, the 29-year-old MVP is likely going to sign with a team that is expected to contend for the World Series.

If Ohtani is looking for a short-term deal, it opens up a wider variety of potential suitors despite the presumably high average annual value.

While there was initial speculation that the two-way All-Star would command a record-breaking deal worth over $500 million, he could bet on himself and sign a smaller total contract with an opt-out clause.

Ohtani underwent surgery to repair a torn UCL in September, meaning that he’ll be unable to pitch until 2025. Although he’ll still be able to hit, the former AL Rookie of the Year may look to re-establish himself as an elite pitcher when he returns to the mound before signing a long-term deal.

In 2023, Ohtani hit .304 with 44 home runs and 95 RBIs in 135 games. He posted an American League-leading .412 on-base percentage, while his .654 slugging percentage and 1.066 OPS were the highest marks among all MLB players.

MLB @MLB

Strike out two batters top of the first: ✅
Hit your MLB-leading 44th homer bottom of the first: ✅

Shohei Ohtani is INCREDIBLE. pic.twitter.com/471tCR23SY

Ohtani was similarly dominant as a pitcher, finishing with a record of 10-5 in 23 starts. He recorded 167 strikeouts in 132.0 innings pitched, accumulating a 3.14 ERA.

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