Shohei Ohtani Gets Biggest Pay Raise In Baseball History

Shohei Ohtani's long-term future with the Los Angeles Angels is still up for debate, but today the team rewarded him with a contract for the 2023 season that represents the largest pay raise in MLB history.

It's a one-year, $30M contract to avoid arbitration next spring, and is the largest salary ever for an arbitration-eligible player. After next season, he becomes a free agent, and perhaps by rewarding him in this way now, the Angels will gain some good-vibes credit from the two-way superstar. 

The former arbitration-eligible record salary for a player was the $27M Mookie Betts received from the Boston Red Sox. And after Ohtani earned $5.5M this season, the $24.5M raise is a new all-time baseball record. 

Also, as noted by Ken Rosenthal, he moves into the Top 10 for 2023 salaries, though that could easily change after another wild free agent frenzy this coming offseason. 

After winning the AL MVP in 2021, the 28-year-old slugger and ace pitcher is wrapping up another MVP-worthy season (though likely won't win it again due to the historic and legendary season that Aaron Judge is having). 

Ohtani has slugged 34 homers, along with 94 RBIs, and an .888 OPS on offense. On the mound, he's posted a 2.35 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and has struck out 213 batters in 161 innings. The previous MLB high in home runs for a pitcher with over 200 strikeouts was 7 (yes, SEVEN), by Hall of Famer Don Drysdale in 1965 and by Earl Wilson in 1966.

Unfortunately, the Angels were once again unable to surround Ohtani, and fellow superstar Mike Trout with enough talent to get him to the playoffs. He has yet to taste the postseason since coming to LA in 2018. 

The contract extension comes just two days after Ohtani flirted with a no-hitter.