Shohei Ohtani, Angels Agree to 2-Year $8.5M Contract to Avoid Arbitration

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 8, 2021

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani reacts to a strike during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Shohei Ohtani won't go through the arbitration process after all.

The Los Angeles Angels announced Monday that the two sides have agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract without heading an arbitration hearing. 

Ohtani was arbitration-eligible for the first time in his three-year career. 

A two-way player, the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year hasn't been able to build off of that campaign on the hill. In his first year in MLB, Ohtani went 4-2 on the mound with a 3.31 ERA while hitting .285/.361/.564. 

He didn't pitch in 2019 because of Tommy John surgery, and he struggled in 2020, hitting just .190/.291/.366 with seven homers and 24 RBI in 44 appearances as a designated hitter. He was also limited to just two pitching starts prior to suffering a flexor strain in his right elbow that ended his season on the mound.

Despite his quiet 2020, Ohtani said he expects more from himself in the upcoming campaign.

"The numbers show that I didn't have a great year and I'm fully aware of that," Ohtani said through an interpreter in September, per Beth Harris of the Associated Press. "I found a lot of things I need to work on in the offseason. I'm looking forward to getting that underway."

The extension gives the 26-year-old a much-needed opportunity to prove himself over the next two seasons.