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Babe Ruth may soon need to make room for Shohei Ohtani at the table.
Last night, the pitching/hitting Los Angeles Angels phenom added another historic accomplishment to his resume. He now joins the Babe as the only other player to have 500 strikeouts and 100 home runs.
With Ohtani not looking to be slowing down anytime soon – and in fact, actually getting better, it begs the question – when does he surpass Babe Ruth as baseball’s greatest?
OHTANI IS THE SAVIOR OF BASEBALL
Shohei Ohtani was absolutely filthy on the mound last night.
He had 8 strikeouts in just the first 3 innings before ending the game with a career-tying high of 13 in only 5 innings. In the past 3 games, Ohtani has had 32 strikeouts total, while also leading the Majors with 59.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Babe Ruth had 501 career strikeouts, meaning at 500 Ohtani will surpass that in his next scheduled start.
Add to the fact that the Japanese sensation is only 28-years-old, and we are experiencing not only the most entertaining, but perhaps the greatest baseball player right in front of our very eyes.
OHTANI IS GOING TO GET PAID
The biggest drawback of Ohtani is the fact that he plays for the Angels.
The team literally has two of the best players in baseball in Ohtani and Mike Trout. And the casual fan can’t even enjoy it. With most games being played on west coast time, that leaves baseball fans on the east coast missing seeing him play on a consistent basis.
That will most likely change in just a few months.
After signing a one-year, $30 million deal with the Angels this season, Ohtani is set to become a free agent. Most speculation suggests he’ll test the market.
ONLY A HANDFUL OF TEAMS CAN AFFORD OHTANI
The two-way star was already expected to get a record-setting contract. You add the fact that he is leading the Majors in strikeouts and is just decimating hitters left and right? Well my friends, you best be saving up your money now because if your team signs Ohtani, ticket prices are going to skyrocket.
A recent analysis by MLB Insider Buster Olney says that Ohtani could make upwards of $60+ million a year. And because he is such a special player, you can be sure that his agent, Nez Balelo, is going to want at least 9 or 10 years in the deal. Such high figures means that only a handful of teams even have that type of revenue available to sign him. So expect a bidding battle between the Dodgers, Mets, Giants and Yankees this coming offseason.
With Major League Baseball going through an identity-crisis right now and desperately trying to draw in a younger audience, their answer is right there with Ohtani – as long as he gets on a team where fans can actually watch the next Babe Ruth play in person.