It’s official- Shohei Ohtani is taking his talents to LA.
Nez Balelo, Ohtani’s agent, broke the news in a statement on Friday afternoon.
“This morning, after a thorough, detailed process, Shohei Ohtani has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Shohei is humbled and flattered by all the time and effort that so many teams put into their presentations and sincerely thanks them for their professionalism. In the end, he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball,” said Balelo.
According to MLB.com’s Maria Guardado, the Angels are expected to use their remaining $2.315 million in international slot money to sign Ohtani. In addition, Los Angeles will pay a posting fee of $20 million to the Nippon-Ham Fighters, who posted Ohtani last Friday.
Ohtani, 23, is perhaps the most coveted international free agent in Major League history. He’s one year removed from winning the Pacific League MVP Award, after posting a 1.86 ERA in 140 innings with 174 strikeouts (by the way, he can throw 100 mph), and hitting .322/.416/.588 with 22 dingers in 382 at-bats. So it’s no surprise that he does everything, as the numbers don’t lie.
Plus, Ohtani’s coming at a huge bargain. He could’ve waited two years to come to the majors as an unrestricted free agent and command up to at least $200 million given his ability. But as we all know, anyone under 25 is subject to international signing rules, and Ohtani’s maximum signing bonus was $3.357 million.
Two of Ohtani’s newest teammates took to social media:
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) December 8, 2017
— Justin Upton (@JUST_JUP) December 8, 2017
Ohtani is expected to join the Angels’ starting rotation in 2018 as well as be a part-time designated hitter. In order to create more at-bats for Ohtani, Albert Pujols is expected to play more games at first base.
The Ohtani era begins. We here at Home Run Daily can’t wait to see how things play out for him in year one!
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