Shohei Ohtani is a difficult player to evaluate. Where there is no question that he has the talent and potential to completely change the game, the Los Angeles Angels have not had a chance to see exactly what they have. This two way potential really lasted for nine outings in his rookie campaign before his elbow problems kept him off the mound.
His talent also made it difficult to put a price on Ohtani, as he and the Angels were heading to arbitration. That hearing will no longer happen as the two sides agreed to a two year extension on Monday.
Los Angeles Angels setting the framework for a long term deal with Shohei Ohtani
When the Angels had originally signed Ohtani, it was thought that they would look to lock him in to a long term extension in short order. Even if that did not occur in his rookie year, it was thought that he would be kept in Los Angeles by now.
This extension could set those wheels in motion. Ohtani is supposed to be completely healthy once again, ready to reprise his two way role in 2021. The Angels need him to be the player he was at the start of 2018, when he was not only an asset as their primary designated hitter, but showed the potential to be the ace of the pitching staff.
With Ohtani locked in for two years, the Angels have time to find out if he can hold up during a full season. This will give them the opportunity to make certain that he is not just that power bat in the lineup, but that potential ace as well.
And that extension gives the Angels a starting point for the future. Should Ohtani become the player that he was expected to be, they may be able to lock him in to yet another extension. This next one could keep the 26 year old with the franchise through his prime.
The Los Angeles Angels and Shohei Ohtani agreed to a two year extension. This could just be a precursor for a larger deal should he prove to be healthy in 2021.