Superstar Money: Why Shohei Ohtani Is The Biggest MLB Free Agent Ever

Darren - November 13, 2023

Superstar Money: Why Shohei Ohtani Is The Biggest MLB Free Agent Ever

Darren - November 13, 2023

Orange County Register

Marketing Force

We’ve talked about Ohtani’s popularity in Japan and his impressive shirt sales already. But what about his other endorsements? Teams know that Ohtani is a marketing dream because of his clean-cut personality and his brilliant sporting performances. It’s a match made in heaven.

Fox News

He became a free agent in 2023 but boasted an incredible sponsorship portfolio. Forbes estimated that he will earn $35 million in 2023 from endorsements alone. Ohtani enjoys relationships with Hugo Boss, New Balance, Seiko, and Mitsubishi Bank, amongst others.

The Athletic

In His Prime

Ohtani became an official free agent when he turned 29. This was great news for the franchises sniffing around his availability because it means that he is in his prime. Most elite baseballers reach their pinnacle when they’re between 26 and 33. Ohtani is in the middle of this range so he’s at his zenith (via Essentially Sports).


It also means that it’s likely that he will have at least another three great seasons ahead of him. This may not be the case because things don’t always work perfectly. Furthermore, it won’t be cheap to secure his services because he will probably demand a record contract. But he has earned this with his sensational performances.

New York Times

World Baseball Classic

Ohtani reached new levels when Japan won the World Baseball Classic in 2023. The Championship game was one of the most-watched baseball games ever as Japan defeated the USA. It saw Ohtani face his Angels teammate, Mike Trout, on his way to the Tournament MVP award (via The Guardian).


This was massive for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it elevated the WBC to a new level and interested plenty of neutrals around the world. It was also the first time that many MLB fans saw Ohtani deliver a clutch performance in a playoff-style game. He delivered, as he usually does, in an electrifying event.

San Francisco Chronicle

Dual-Threat Force

The main reason why Ohtani is the most exciting free agent of recent times is because of his dual-threat. Baseball fans haven’t seen a player doing what he does since Babe Ruth. But the Japanese star is breaking the legendary icon’s records. Ruth hit 159 home runs in his first 674 games while Ohtani smashed 160.


It’s an astounding statistic that may never be broken. We can’t perfectly compare their careers because they played in very different eras. However, the reality is that Ohtani is doing things that nobody has achieved in the modern game. Franchises will effectively get two elite players for the price of one (via SBNation).