Shohei Ohtani, the two-way star for the Los Angeles Angels, is set to make a record-breaking $65 million in the upcoming MLB season, according to Forbes. The 2021 American League MVP, who recently won the World Baseball Classic with Japan, signed a one-year $30 million extension with the Angels in October 2022, and will also earn $35 million off-the-field through partnerships with companies such as Kowa, Seiko Watch, Boss, Fanatics, and Topps. Ohtani's marketability on both sides of the Pacific has helped him ascend to global superstardom, and he has recently added lucrative deals with Japanese cosmetics company Kose and Boston-based apparel brand New Balance. ESPN's Tim Kurkjian has predicted that Ohtani's next contract could be over $500 million.
Ohtani is scheduled to make his second straight Opening Day start for the Angels on Thursday, and is coming off the back of a brilliant off-season from the MLB, with career-highs on the mound in 2022. He was also key to Japan's run throughout the World Baseball Classic, batting .435 and pitching to a 1.86 ERA, and was named tournament MVP. Ohtani struck out fellow LA Angels megastar Mike Trout in arguably the biggest moment of WBC history, ensuring Japan took home its third WBC title.
Forbes' top 5 highest-paid players for 2023 also include the Mets' Max Scherzer, Yankees star Aaron Judge, veteran Mets pitcher Justin Verlander, and Ohtani's Angels teammate, Trout. Ohtani's ascent to the top of this list is a testament to his exceptional talent and marketability, and he is likely to remain a dominant force in the MLB for years to come.