As Shohei Ohtani Fast Approaches $500M Free Agency, Distraught Angels Fans Can Take Slight Solace From Reassuring 2021 Comments

Published 09/01/2023, 1:30 PM EDT

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Shohei Ohtani is on the verge of making history. The most talented, and only, two-way player that MLB has ever seen excited fans when he flew to the States. It was a thrilling time because while two-way players are not exactly non-existent, it’s certainly rare to see them in the majors. With each new season, it seems like Shohei Ohtani only improves. Is it any wonder analysts have predicted at least a $500 million contract next?

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The only question is, will the Japanese sensation stay in Los Angeles? Fans would still be satisfied if he goes over to the Angels’ crosstown rivals, the Dodgers. Because the Halos have officially ruined Sho-time’s career, even if he stubbornly stays loyal to them. Maybe things would have gone differently had Ohtani had chosen differently in 2021.

Did Shohei Ohtani’s 2021 contract extension doom his career in LA?

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The first three years with the Halos were spent mainly as a DH, recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2021, Ohtani was finally ready to be the two-way player that baseball fans had heard legends about. In February of that year, Sho-time signed a two-year contract to avoid arbitration. But that deal came soon after Ohtani had expressed frustration in wanting to go to the playoffs but not being able to, with the Halos.

Still, it went on to be a spectacular season for the two-way sensation, so much so that Jeff Fletcher wrote a book about it. On page 195 of Sho-Time: The Inside Story of Shohei Ohtani and the Greatest Baseball Season Ever Played, Fletcher writes about Ohtani’s comments on the extension.

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A few days after that, before the Angels played their final game of the season, Ohtani clarified his earlier words. Despite his disappointment with losing, he was still prepared to talk about a contract extension. “Of course, I’ll be very open to negotiation,” Ohtani said. “The team’s supported me for this whole four years and I’m really appreciative of that. Whether or not there’s any long contract extension, I just want to be ready to perform next season.”

The next season, and the next, were unfortunately still played in LA. It was good news for Angels fans but the rest of baseball suffered. But 2023 might bring a change yet.

Where will the most talked-about Free agent ever end up?

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Ever since the season began, this has been the question on everyone’s minds. Ohtani has not given any leads as to what he’s thinking of. It’s even unclear whether he will stay with the Halos or join a new team.

3 MLB Teams Emerge as Prime Candidates For Shohei Ohtani as He Stands On the Cusp of the Biggest Contract in American History

For the sake of baseball, fans want him away from the Angels. Despite his wondrous performance, Ohtani has still not been to the World Series. In fact, ever since his joining, his team hasn’t even made the playoffs once. And if only out of frustration, fans wish he would join a roster that would value him equally.

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As to where that is, only time will tell.

WATCH THIS STORY | Monumental Moment – Mike Trout Bestows Crown on Shohei Ohtani, Sparks 500 Million Contract Talks

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Written by:

Arunima Bhanot

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Arunima Bhanot is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Her tryst with MLB was accidental, but what followed was nothing short of a pursuit of excellence. Arunima's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks on multiple occasions, highlighting her exceptional attention to detail and insightful coverage.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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