Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani may be worth even more money on the open market following his dominance in the World Baseball Classic. 

“I think it’s going to be $600M or more because there’s nobody else in baseball that can do what he can do, that can replicate his production, replicate his marketability,” ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney said about how much Ohtani could earn during Wednesday’s edition of the “Get Up” program, as shared by Chris Rosvoglou of The Spun. “We’re going to be talking about him through the trade deadline, we’re going to be talking about him all the way through free agency.”

Predictions for Ohtani’s next MLB contract lingered in the range of between $500M and $600M total before he helped Team Japan win the WBC title and before Team Mexico manager and Angels infield coach Benji Gil referred to the 28-year-old as arguably “the greatest athlete ever.” The 2021 American League Most Valuable Player then earned WBC MVP honors for his efforts which included striking out Angels star Mike Trout to clinch the tournament championship on Tuesday night. 

Per Mike Axisa of CBS Sports, Ohtani slashed .435/.606/.739 with four doubles, a home run and 10 walks for Team Japan. He also posted a 1.86 ERA with 11 strikeouts across 9.2 innings of work on the bump. 

Agent Nez Balelo directly said last month that Ohtani has “earned the right to play through the year” and then explore free agency unless his current employer blows him away with an offer beforehand. It’s widely thought that the Angels have little chance of holding onto who is probably the sport’s top worldwide draw unless they both show him the money and enjoy at least a solid postseason run. 

A bidding war between massive spenders such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, among other teams, was always going to drive Ohtani’s price up assuming he hits free agency this fall. Perhaps Chicago Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman was right when he tweeted that Ohtani’s worth goes beyond hundreds of millions of dollars: 

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