What will be the next destination for 안전놀이터 Shohei Otani (LA Angels), who will become a free agent after this season. And how much is Otani worth.
In April, when the 2023 season of the U.S. Major League Baseball just began, local media expected Otani’s ransom to be $500 million (about 659.5 billion won). The LA Times delivered an anonymous MLB official on April 7 (Korea Standard Time), saying, “Ottani’s ransom will start at $500 million and reach $600 million.” It was a foregone conclusion that it exceeded the MLB’s highest contract amount of $426.5 million (about 562.553.5 billion won) set by Ohtani’s teammate Mike Trout.
However, Otani’s ransom rose further in July when the Major League Baseball reached the halfway point. As a batter, which team will reject Ohtani, who has a batting average of 0.302, 32 home runs, 71 RBIs, and 7 wins and 4 losses, 3.32 ERA and 132 strikeouts until the first half. The prevailing expectation is that it will be over $600 million.
The same is true of fellow players. According to a survey of MLB players who participated in the All-Star Game by AP on the 12th, Otani’s expected ransom easily exceeded $600 million. Catchers Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals) and Jordan Romano (Toronto Blue Jays) expected $600 million, which was the lowest.
Freddie Freeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers even said, “He’s like a unicorn that can’t be priced.” Sean Murphy (Atlanta Braves) also said, “Ottani is going to make a lot of money, and he deserves it. “There is no player like him,” he said, adding, “I didn’t set a separate price, but I expected to make a lot of money.” “I don’t know what to do if I’m in a position to sign him, but he’s a great player,” Murphy added.
The fans’ courtship is also incredible. Otani had an unforgettable experience in the All-Star Game. The All-Star Game was held at T-Mobile Park, Seattle’s home stadium. More than 48,000 spectators gathered here chanted “Come to Seattle” several times when Otani entered the batter’s box. It was a different ‘tempering’ (pre-contact). MLB Dotcom explained, “Each club cannot make a recruitment offer until Otani is eligible for FA,” adding, “Fans have reached out on behalf of the Seattle club.”
Even though the season is not over, it has already surpassed $600 million. Attention is focusing on where Otani’s next destination will be and which club will hold him in their arms while covering Otani’s soaring ransom.