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Shohei Ohtani signing with Los Angeles Dodgers

(KTLA) — The wait is over, baseball's most influential star has a new team — Shohei Ohtani is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to the reigning American League MVP himself, Ohtani will play his final game as a member of the Los Angeles Angels, signing what is said to be a record-breaking contract with their crosstown rival.

Ohtani announced the news himself. Instagram.

“To all the fans and baseball community members, I apologize for taking so long to make this decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team,” Slugger said in the post.

ESPN reporter Jeff Passan announced that the deal is worth a total of $700 million over 10 years. Passan said this is the largest endorsement deal in the history of the sport.

It also includes certain deferrals to allow the Dodgers to build a more competitive team around him, he said.

The decision, which came after weeks of speculation, secret meetings, and 24-hour media coverage, is likely the first time NBA star LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed with the Miami Heat. will be the biggest free agent decision in sports.

Like James, Ohtani has exceeded his hype since debuting in the world's top league, appearing in three All-Star Games, earning All-MLB honors four times, and being named AL Rookie of the Year. He won the American League MVP award twice. in recent seasons.

Ohtani, a two-way star, led the league in home runs last season and had 10 wins and a 3.14 ERA as a starting pitcher. Since joining the team in 2018, the Angels have won decisions in more than two-thirds of his starts.

However, this Japanese prodigy's dominance on the mound ended this season when he suffered a torn UCL in his throwing shoulder and underwent surgery, which will likely prevent him from pitching at least next season.

On April 1, 2018, Ohtani pitched in the bottom of the first inning in his major league pitching debut against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, California. (Getty Images)

Still, despite having half of his game-breaking skill set on hold, he was one of the most valuable and successful players in Major League Baseball, including the Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and, of course, Major League Baseball. The team participated in the Changping lottery. , Dodgers.

There were also rumors that the slugger might be interested in returning to Anaheim for another run with future Hall of Famer Mike Trout. But those expectations, as well as the promise of postseason success, never materialized for the Angels.

In the six seasons that Ohtani was on the roster, the Angels not only failed to make the playoffs, but also failed to have a winning record.

In his post announcing his free agency, Ohtani introduced himself to the bigs and thanked the Angels team and its fans for welcoming him with open arms.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of the Angels officials and fans who have supported me over the past six years, and to all of the officials from each team involved in this negotiation process,” he 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. ”

Saturday's announcement followed reports a day earlier that he intended to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays.

After that report proved inaccurate, baseball fans began tracking a commercial plane that appeared to have taken off from Orange County and headed for Toronto, speculating that Ohtani was among the passengers.

The plane landed around 3pm Pacific time, but apparently Otani was not on board. Who was it? According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Robert Herjavec, a Canadian businessman famous for “Shark Tank.”

With Ohtani's decision on the horizon, big moves are expected to begin in the MLB free agent market, with many teams biding their time hoping the proverbial shoe drops before making a deal of their own. There is.

The Dodgers will now have three former league MVPs in Ohtani, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

After another unfortunate ejection in the recent National League playoffs, the Dodgers are determined to add more offensive power to their batting lineup, and Ohtani's eventual return to the mound could also be a reliable starting pitcher. It would be a welcome boost for a team that has struggled to find players. line up.

As for the Angels, he said he is focused on building a championship contender around Trout, despite calls from fans to tear the team down to the studs and start over.

Losing Ohtani for free instead of trading him for top dollar has many fans worried that the same future will play out again in the coming years, this time with their beloved raw star. Trout appears.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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