In a widely expected move, MLB free agent Shohei Ohtani declined the Los Angeles Angels’ qualifying offer ahead of Tuesday’s 1 p.m. PST deadline.
What’s next for the team:
, 29, declined the one-year offer worth $20.325 million, the Angels will receive draft-pick compensation
, notably either a third or fourth-round pick during the 2024 MLB
Draft, if the Japanese-born two-way phenom
decides to sign elsewhere.
With Ohtani exploring free agency, new Angels manager Ron Washington announced during his introductory press conference
on Wednesday that he is planning for the team to dominate the American League West in 2024 “once we get things together and we get these guys together in spring training.”
A rich deal:
Ohtani, who is often described a baseball “unicorn,” is speculated to become the first player to sign a contract worth at least $500 million
, which would make him the highest-paid player in MLB history.
Ohtani is among seven MLB stars
who have rejected their former team’s qualifying offer. The others include Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger and San Diego Padres’ pitchers Josh Hader and Blake Shell.
The road so far:
Ohtani had an eventful past season with the Angels. He received the Halos’ team MVP award for the third year in a row and made history as the MLB’s first Japanese home run champion
His time with the team was also cut short after he suffered back-to-back injuries, starting with a torn ulnar collateral ligament
(UCL) in August that will sideline him from pitching in the 2024 season, followed by an oblique injury
in early September.