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


All-Star Icon

One of the best ways to examine a Major League athlete’s long-term consistency is by checking their All-Star awards. Ohtani is quickly accumulating plenty. He has three MLB All-Stars while he earned five during his time in Japan. But he also set crazy records during those All-Star games.


One of the craziest is that he earned selection as both a pitcher and a hitter. This was an unbelievable achievement because it was the first time in the showpiece event’s near-century existence. It also proves Ohtani’s dominance in the sport and why every franchise will want this free agent (via ESPN).


Jersey Sales

Popular sports analyst (or some would say talking head) Stephen A. Smith disagrees but the reality is that Ohtani is one of baseball’s biggest stars right now. More people bought his jersey than any other player in MLB in 2022. This made him the first Japanese player ever to outsell his rivals as he showed that he was a market force to be reckoned with.

Spectrum News

This is even more impressive when we consider what Aaron Judge achieved for the more popular Yankees. The Angels aren’t even the biggest franchise in L.A. but Ohtani makes people care. That’s why many MLB organizations won’t blink about handing him a record-breaking contract (via Japan Times).

New York Times

Bonafide MVP

The two-way superstar is a genuine MVP talent as he proved over the past two seasons before he became a free agent. He won the AL MVP award in 2021 after a sensational year. Ohtani became the first player in AL or NL history with 45 home runs, 25 stolen bases, and five triples in a season.


Meanwhile, he was a finalist in 2022 as he pushed Aaron Judge all the way. Some people even thought that Ohtani’s efforts for the Angels were enough to secure him the award for a second time. The point is that any team that gets him won’t believe their luck because he has amazing talent (via

L.A. Times

Guinness World Records

Ohtani has even entered the Guinness Book of Records. He became the first MLB player to achieve more than 100 innings and to record more than 100 strikeouts as a pitcher as well as over 100 RBIs, hits, and runs as a batter in a single season. It’s a ludicrous achievement that’s a testament to his quality.


His second Guinness record saw him become the first player to start the All-Star game as both a pitcher and a designated hitter. That’s why this free agent rises above his compatriots in the sport. Baseball fans are watching a living legend and they dream of him playing for their franchises (via Essentially Sports).

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).