Shohei Ohtani mets rumors
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Everything about Shohei Ohtani as a Major League Baseball player is historic. He’s accomplished things on the field we haven’t seen since the days of Babe Ruth. The 2021 American League MVP has even accomplished things Ruth wasn’t able to do during his own Hall of Fame career.

With the Los Angeles Angels being, well, the Angels, Ohtani has found his name pop up in the trade rumor mill in recent months. L.A. was apparently shopping the two-way star at the deadline, but interested teams never felt like they were serious about it. Once the World Series was over, chatter began again about him potentially getting dealt prior to 2023 getting underway.

After all, he only has one year left before hitting free agency. While things can change, it doesn’t sound like he’s happy with the Angels. Los Angeles maintains they’d like to retain the superstar, who is under contract for $30 million next season. There’s pretty much no way the 28-year-old doesn’t test the open market, though.

Ohtani will easily be the most intriguing player to ever hit free agency. He’s one of the league’s best pitchers and one of baseball’s most feared hitters. What is that talent going to cost? Jon Heyman of the New York Post asked nine MLB agents (not Ohtani’s) for their thoughts. Here are those predictions:

  • “He will definitely beat Trout, and you have to go from there.” (Mike Trout signed a 12-year, $426.5M deal)
  • “Should get $400M-plus to a winner.”
  • “$430 [million] to $440 over 10 years.”
  • “10 times 45 [million]”
  • “I think he goes to $500M or so, probably 12 years.”
  •  “$500M for 13/14 [years]— $250M per position”
  • “475 [million]to 525 over 13 seasons.”
  • “11 times 50 = $550M. Sounds crazy but he has the ability to consistently be a 9/10 WAR player.”
  • “It sure seems like something that starts with a 5 in front of it.”

Honestly, I’m surprised there’s anyone giving a prediction that isn’t at least $500 million. Especially if he stays healthy. He produced 8.0 total fWAR in his MVP season and followed that up with another 9.4 in 2022. As long as he stays on the field, it seems like Ohtani will land somewhere within this range.

Who might be part of the chase for such a unique player? Heyman notes the Angels (who will have new ownership by then), the Phillies, and the Padres as some competitors, along with the Dodgers and Mets. While it may be a little too much to seriously consider, you’d have to imagine the Yankees will toss their proverbial hat into the ring, too.

Heyman did note that when Ohtani first came over to the states, it seemed like he preferred to play in a smaller media market. This could make things a little more interesting if that’s still the case. The Mets at least have Ohtani’s first connection to the big leagues in Billy Eppler, who signed him while he was L.A.’s general manager. It might also help that Kodai Senga just landed in Queens, too.

Whatever people are thinking Ohtani will get in his next contract right now is probably just the starting point. As we’ve seen this winter, certain teams are willing to spend big for the players they covet. One thing we can be sure of is Ohtani will break every contract record imaginable. He’ll get more than Trout’s $426.5 million deal, and he’ll earn more per year than Aaron Judge’s $40 million annual average value.

Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.