Shohei Ohtani is expected to make a Major League Baseball-record $65 million for the 2023 season including endorsements, according to an annual list published Monday by Forbes, making the Los Angeles Angels' two-way standout the highest-paid player in the sport.
The amount includes the one-year, $30 million contract extension that Ohtani signed in October as part of an agreement to avoid salary arbitration.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer was second on the overall list at $59.3 million. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who signed a nine-year, $360 million deal in December to remain in New York, took the third spot at $44.5 million.
Mets pitcher Justin Verlander ($43.3 million) and Ohtani's Angels teammate Mike Trout ($39.5 million) rounded out the top five of Forbes' list.
Ohtani is expected to make at least $35 million from endorsements, according to Forbes, up from $6 million in 2021 and $20 million in 2022. The magazine's endorsement revenue estimates showed a substantial gap between the Japanese star and his peers. Judge, the American League MVP in 2022, was next on the list -- in line to make $4.5 million in endorsements. Trout, a three-time AL MVP, was third with $4 million in endorsements.
In total, the 10 highest-paid players are expected to collect record earnings of $436 million, up from last year's $377 million, according to Forbes.
Ohtani, the 2021 AL MVP, will be a free agent after this season and is widely expected to land one of the most lucrative contracts in baseball history. He led Japan to victory in the World Baseball Classic last week after striking out Trout to clinch the title.
Ohtani was the runner-up to Judge in the MVP voting last year after finishing with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs while posting a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts with a 15-9 record. He will be the Angels' Opening Day starter Thursday against the Athletics.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.