Shohei Ohtani is one of the best bargains in baseball. The two-way star, who represents a unique case in market value, received a measly $50,000 bump in pay for the 2020 season, pushing his annual salary up to $700,000. With exactly two years of service time, Ohtani was hoping to reach arbitration eligibility after this season, which wouldn’t quite pay him like a free agent, but would at least set his salary based on performance.
What would otherwise be a procedural milestone for Ohtani is suddenly a matter of negotiation. What qualifies for a full year of service under a shortened season?