There are mixed feelings about the future of Shohei Ohtani, 29, the “super max” of the 2023-2024 Major League Baseball free agent market. Some believe he’ll be fine, while others believe he’s already had two elbow surgeries and won’t be around much longer.토토사이트
Ohtani’s agency has not officially announced the name of the elbow surgery he underwent in late September. Most U.S. media outlets have taken it as Tommy John. There is some concern about the future of “Pitcher Ohtani,” as studies have shown that the likelihood of a comeback is extremely low after two Tommy John surgeries.
The Athletic’s Keith Law, who ranked and analyzed the major free agents over the past three days (ET), said that Ohtani’s return to the mound may not be until 2025. “He’s had two tears in his elbow, and he may not pitch again until 2025. We’ve seen major league pitchers return to the mound after two Tommy John surgeries, but there are no guarantees.”
“I don’t think Ohtani had a complete Tommy John surgery. There is some risk of a complete tear of the ligament after returning to pitch and needing reconstructive surgery later. The first Tommy John surgery has an 8-90% success rate, but the second surgery has a lower success rate. The repaired ligament may not last long. There are many unknowns. If Ohtani was a (fully) pitcher, he would have a big impact on the free agent market.”
Law emphasized that Ohtani shouldn’t fall below his 10-year, $50 million value. “He’s an elite offensive player who is worth four to six wins per year as a designated hitter. Even when he’s not on the field, he’s one of the most marketable players in sports.”
Even if the future of the “pitcher” is unclear, the business case for Ohtani’s $500 million contract is compelling. “The Angels have included Ohtani in corporate sponsorships, stadium signage, and merchandise,” says Law. All of this will still apply to the next owner, even if Ohtani is a hitter.”
Even if he’s not good at it, as long as he’s playing, he’s guaranteed some off-field marketability. “If Ohtani returns to pitch in 2025, he’s likely to have a WAR of 8-10, making him a $50 million a year player on his own merits. It’s double that when you factor in the ancillary income.”
With that in mind, Law said, “Ohtani needs to break the $50 million a year barrier and, given his age, shouldn’t settle for a 10-year deal or less, which has become the norm for top free agents.” Ten years and $500 million in guaranteed money is likely not out of the question because demand is high.