Japanese star Shohei Ohtani has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Angels, his agent said on Friday. Everyone in baseball wanted him, and once he became available, teams made their case to get him, completely in the dark as to his desires and true intentions. Statements from New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman that Ohtani preferred a smaller market had fans in Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego buzzing, but in the end, he opted to sign with a team in the country's second-largest market.
At the plate, Ohtani batted.322 in both 2017 and 2016, while also providing his team solid slugging in the mid.500s both seasons.
We're likely to hear far more about the Angels plans for him in the coming days.
"This morning, after a thorough, detailed process, Shohei Ohtani has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels". He is a bona fide ace caliber pitcher with an upper-90s fastball and two legitimate out-pitches in his slider and splitter.
A lefty reliever is the other main item on the A's wish list, though they're also monitoring the starting pitching market. Now, he is paired with the greatest player in the world on the team poised to surprise baseball without him.
Could Oh have been that kind of player?
Through his first six big-league seasons, Mike Trout has performed like one of the greatest players ever. The Fighters then persuaded Ohtani and his family that their club could improve the player's chances of success in the majors.
Meanwhile, this has to sting for the Seattle Mariners. His preference for the West Coast became clear as he listed his finalists. Albert Pujols was arguably the worst player in baseball last year, and doesn't stand to get any better, leaving his mammoth contract swimming deep underwater.
Golf roundup • Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair shot a 15-under 57 to take the first-round lead in the QBE Shootout in Naples, Fla.
Ohtani's is sometimes called the Japanese Babe Ruth, but Ruth's playing days obviously stopped long before the advent of fantasy baseball (Ruth would have been a two-way fantasy star in 1918 as he both led the league in home runs and picked up 13 wins, but fantasy baseball wasn't invented for another 60+ years).
It's still unclear how the Angels will manage Ohtani's playing time between the mound and at the plate.
The Cubs imaginative lineup would have allowed for that, but now they have some money to make other arrangements moving forward. The media wags write this off to the idea that Ohtani went to someplace that would let him pitch and hit. And in that time, he has played in a total of three postseason games, all in a 2014 ALDS sweep at the hands of the Royals.
Once they arrive at the decision, the next step is to make sure their users fully understand their decision.