Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani could soon be available to trade, and reports suggest he could be the first sports star to receive a contract in the region of $500 million(£403.5m).
The future of Aaron Judge may have only recently been tied up, as the New York Yankees star signed a new deal to remain with the Major League Baseball side. But heading into his contract year, Ohtani could be the most desired free agent yet.
The 28-year-old is considered by many as the best player in the league, and one of the most uniquely talented of all-time. With the talent, the potential, and still with many years remaining in the game, his contract may be something we have never seen before in sports.
In less than 10 months, there could be a bidding war like no other for Ohtani - although the Angels will surely try and extend his stay. But given the booming market and the talent on offer, many are predicting he could break the North American ceiling and be offered a deal that beats the one Patrick Mahomes signed in the NFL.
Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450m extension in 2020, and Cristiano Ronaldo recently signed a huge $75m-per-year deal with Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr. Ronaldo is now the highest paid athlete in the world, but due to his deal being a short-term one, even he hasn't broken the $500m marker.
Ohtani is one of the most versatile players in MLB, and with the league now centering around flexibility more than ever, this gives him incredible value. Judge set the record for an MLB player contract at $360m this winter, but his figure could be dwarfed just a year later.
Despite this, Ohtani has never really been about the money, coming from Japan and really demonstrating his pride for the game. But it's time for him to discover his true worth, with MLB insiders predicting big things.
One MLB executive apparently told ESPN they felt Ohtani could realistically obtain a 12-year contract worth $480m. And an agent predicted a 10-year, $430m contract also.
The bidding war is expected to be big unless the Angels can give him an offer he can't refuse. And with that, and an expected free agency that's not too stacked next winter, all eyes, and money, will be on Ohtani.