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Shohei Ohtani signing with Dodgers on 10-year, $700 million megadeal

Shohei Otani's sweepstakes has ended.

The baseball superstar announced on his Instagram account Saturday that he is signing with the Dodgers.

Ohtani's contract is for 10 years and $700 million, his agent Nez Valero confirmed in a press release.

This is the largest contract in North American sports history.

This news settles the biggest question of the MLB offseason: where Ohtani will be based next season.

The two-way player was the biggest player on the market this year and was already expected to earn a historic contract from his next team.

“I apologize to all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world for taking so long to reach this decision,'' Otani posted on Instagram. “I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.''

Valero called the deal “unique” and historic.

This includes an “unprecedented delay” to reduce the Dodgers' annual financial burden. According to the Post's Jon Heyman.

The deal with the Dodgers ends Ohtani's six-year stint in Los Angeles and begins a new chapter for the Japanese star.

“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in the Angels and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as everyone involved in each team who was involved in this negotiation process. “I would like to express this,” Otani wrote. “Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your support and cheers meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will forever be etched in my heart. ”

Ohtani's deal comes after the Yankees acquired Juan Soto in a blockbuster trade with the Padres late Wednesday night.

In six seasons with Angeles, Ohtani batted .274 with 171 home runs and 437 RBIs.

Shohei Ohtani's free agency has been widely reported. AP

During that same span, Ohtani went 38-19 with a 3.03 ERA off the mound.

“And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what's best for the team and to always do my best to be the best version of myself,” Ohtani wrote. “Until my last day as an active player, I will continue to work hard not only for the Dodgers, but also for the baseball world.''

Ohtani's injury-shortened season will end in 2023, when he was unanimously named American League MVP.

This season, he hit .304/.412/.654, led the American League with 44 home runs, and led all major leagues in OPS with 1.066.

Ohtani was just as effective off the hill, posting a 10-5 record and a 3.14 ERA, striking out 167 batters in 132 innings.

Shohei Otani Robert Szabo of the New York Post

The 29-year-old phenom, who came to the United States and signed with the Angels in 2017, finished playing on the mound after having his ulnar collateral ligament repaired on Aug. 23, but continued to hit for several weeks.

Ohtani injured his elbow in September, so it's highly unlikely he'll be able to pitch next season.

Shohei Ohtani won the 2023 AL MVP award. Corey Shipkin of the New York Post

Ohtani is expected to be ready to hit in the 2024 season and be able to return to the mound in 2025.

“Rehabilitation-wise, it's going really well so far, really well,” Ohtani told MLB Network after earning AL MVP honors. “I feel much better and faster than when I first had this surgery. But at the same time, you can't rush things. You have to take everything slowly and take the right steps. My plan is We hope to come back strong next year.”

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