Angels sign Shohei Ohtani to two-year, $8.5 million extension
The Los Angeles Angels confirmed on Monday that they avoided an arbitration hearing by signing two-way player Shohei Ohtani to a two-year contract worth $8.5 million.
According to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN, Ohtani will earn $3 million for the upcoming season and $5.5 million for 2022. He will be arbitration-eligible again in 2023 before he can enter free agency unless the Angels lock him down on a long-term deal beforehand.
Ohtani earned 2018 American League Rookie of the Year honors and served as both a hitter and pitcher during his debut season and in 2020. He didn’t take the mound in 2019 while recovering from Tommy John surgery but was the Angels’ designated hitter.
Like many players throughout MLB, the 26-year-old struggled to find his form during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. Across 44 regular-season games, Ohtani hit .190 with seven home runs, 24 RBI and 50 strikeouts. He recorded only five outs on the hill before the Angels shut down that portion of his season due to a right forearm strain.
Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Ohtani intends to start spring training as a two-way player.
“I just need to get past me being able to throw without any worries or setbacks,” he said last September. “Once I get past that, I think everything will fall into place.”