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#pounditSunday, July 14, 2024

Bidding for Shohei Ohtani already over $500 million?

Shohei Ohtani smiling

Jun 15, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) walks to the dugout before the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani is apparently a lock to become the highest-paid athlete ever in North American sports.

Ohtani is the biggest free agent in baseball, and he is said to be nearing a decision regarding which team he will sign with.

The Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and the incumbent Los Angeles Angels are believed to be the teams still alive in the bidding process.

According to a report from the New York Post’s Jon Heyman published on Sunday, Ohtani has already received contract offers for more than $500 million. Heyman says there is even speculation that Ohtani could sign for close to $600 million.

The biggest free agent contract ever signed by an MLB player was for $360 million by both Aaron Judge last year. Mike Trout was under contract to receive $426.5 million guaranteed when he signed his extension with the Angels. As far as North American pro sports go, Patrick Mahomes signed an extension that put him under contract to earn $450 million.

The bidding for Ohtani could surpass $500 million for a few reasons.

One, Ohtani is the best player in the world. Two, he pitches and hits, which gives him added value compared to every other player. Lastly, and very importantly, Ohtani single-handedly brings in advertising revenue to a club from Japanese companies that helps offset a good chunk of his salary. Teams can safely figure they will make at least $20 million or so per year just thanks to Ohtani’s popularity in Japan. That’s a big help if you’re paying the guy $50 million or so per year.

Once Ohtani makes his decision, the free agency market should begin to move much more quickly.

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