Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ANAHEIM, California Shohei Otani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the final year of the two-way superstar’s free agency arbitration eligibility.

The Angels have announced a deal, avoiding a potentially difficult 2021 AL MVP arbitrage case.

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Otani’s deal is fully guaranteed, no other strings attached. The contract is the largest ever awarded to an arbitration-eligible player, exceeding the $27 million awarded to a player. Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Otani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the hill for the Angels, regularly pulling off feats not seen in the big leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is once again a strong contender for the AL MVP award along with the Yankees. Aaron Judgewho set the AL home run record and is on his way to a triple crown.

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Otani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and an .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He’s 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are only hitting .207 against him.

Otani, 28, will still be a free agent after the 2023 season and his future could lie in the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will wrap up their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels failed to trade Otani by the deadline despite not being in a playoff race again, and Otani is wildly popular with the club’s fans.

Otani has repeatedly stated that a win will be a big factor in choosing his home after 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently considering selling the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the highly unsuccessful Angels run since 2009, and a fresh start with new big-pocketed owners could be Otani’s best chance to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Otani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and last season he found himself in unique form after fully recovering from Tommy John surgery.

ATLANTA – Dansby Swanson as well as Matt Olson retired Max Scherzerpropelling the Atlanta Braves to Saturday Night’s decisive 4-2 victory over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

Defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob de Grom and Scherzer on consecutive nights broke into the top spot of the season in the division. New York, which had 10 1/2 games as of June 1, is facing its biggest deficit of the year with four games left.

On Sunday night, Atlanta will try to play three games, with the winner receiving a tiebreak for the season. Even though both teams are heading into the postseason, it matters because the NL East champion gets a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a two-run hit in the fifth inning, set off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truest Park, the ball flying a few rows up the seats at left center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, solo shot into Chop House spots from the right to lift Atlanta 4-2.

Austin Riley finished fourth with a brace and scored Olson’s goal to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francis Lindor as well as Jeff McNeil hit the singles with two straight outs.

The Mets were leading 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo dedicated, advanced on the walk and single and hammered on Edward Escobargrounding. Wright, who threw 30 shots in the first round, pinned two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed Riley to hit a single in the first inning and Ronald Akuna Jr. in the third inning, who moved up to third on a shortstop error by Lindor but found himself in a quandary when Michael Harris II lined up in the center. Scherzer patted his glove and shook his fist as he descended the embankment.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets crashed out of first place on only the third day of the entire season.

The Braves have won five of their last six games against New York, tying the season by 9 points, leading the Mets 37-16 in that stretch.

The Atlanta bullpen, who posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez ran into four batters in the seventh Raizel Iglesias faced a low in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen made a perfect ninth for his 39th 46-odd save leading the NL.

As the Braves went 76–32 in four games low under .500 at 23–27 after the May 31 game, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers with the best record in the majors over that period. They were the worst 10 1/2 games of the season since the Mets placed first on June 1.

Wright, the only baseball winner to play 20 games this season, did not officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins since Russ Ortiz had 21 wins in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and cannot reach 20 before the end of the regular season.

Wright would become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavin in 2000 to lead major tournaments in wins. houston ace Justin Verlander also 17.

Wright started the game 1–4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one field appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who received homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson from deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.


Metz: Russian All-Star Game Starling Marte (fractured right middle finger) has not yet begun to swing or throw. Manager Buck Showalter said Martha is in less pain, but not enough to take the next step in her recovery. Marte has been out of action since September 7th.

Withstand: RHP Spencer Strider I still haven’t quit, as the patient’s left oblique is being treated. Manager Brian Snitker said there was no schedule for the rookie’s return. Strider has been out of action since September 21st.


Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in midfield, making first of third.


Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will take on RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams complete a three-game streak.


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