Two-way Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani will join forces with the best player on the planet: Mike Trout and Los Angeles Angels.

Ohtani agreed on Friday to sign with the Angels, ending a week-long bid for his services that included seven finalists, including four of the five California-based teams.

In the end, it was the Angels who for the next six seasons will enjoy the talent of Ohtani, 23, who was widely considered the most popular free agent. in the market this year, even before being officially published by Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, which finally happened on December 1.

Often referred to as Japan's Babe Ruth, Ohtani combines a 100-mph fastball and a refined ball right-hander with bi g Potential for power as a left-handed hitter. He was hampered by ankle and thigh injuries last season, but was named the MVP of Japan's Pacific League in 2016 after going 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA while batting .322 with 22 homers and 1,004 OPS.

Ohtani's basement bargain price also made it attractive to all major league teams, even with the $ 20 million publication fee attached to it. Due to restrictions on the signing of international free agents, the clubs could only offer Ohtani what they had left of their badigned bonus money, with the Texas Rangers with the highest amount at around $ 3.54 million.

He took a discount to sign with the Angels, who turned and tried to free more international money to sign and can offer you a package worth $ 2.3 million.

Nez Balelo, Ohtani's agent at Creative Artists Agency: "I want to thank the clubs and everyone for respecting our intention to make this important process as private as possible." We were determined to have a fair and methodical process. teams clearly put in a lot of work, and we are grateful for that.

"The last weeks also showed Shohei's incredible consideration, attention to detail and determination to make an informed decision. He read every page of every presentation and listened to every word in every meeting, and was so impressed that it was not an easy choice. Although there has been much speculation about what would boost Shohei's decision, what mattered most was not the size of the market, the time zone or the league, but he felt a real bond with the Angels. He sees this as the best environment to develop and reach the next level and achieve his professional goals. More than ever, I think this is not just a special talent but a man of special character, and like everyone else, I'm excited to see him in the big leagues. "

If he had waited until his 25th birthday, it is likely that Ohtani would have won a nine-figure contract, he is expected to recover much of the lost income in endorseme.This makes Ohtani's employer choice more about considerations non-financial than the size of his business.

Balelo sent a letter to the 30 clubs requesting information about his development of players and medical personnel, facilities, resources to facilitate the badimilation of Ohtani and the convenience of the franchise, the city and the market.

Ohtani had made it clear that he wanted the opportunity to act as a pitcher and batter.For December 4 he had reduced his roster to Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Rangers and Chicago Cubs, suggesting a preference for the West Coast but not necessarily for the American League, where he could be a designated hitter.

Four d Those teams were in the National League, so his at-bats on days when he does not throw the figure to come as a fielder.

Now, he will slot as a powerful left-handed hitter between two-time MVP Trout and left fielder Justin Upton, who extended his deal with the Angels shortly after the 2017 season.

Upton, on the other hand, could not contain your emotion

Then pumped right now … @Angels

– Justin Upton (@JUST_JUP) December 8, 2017

Ohtani will also be Slides to the right in a rotating mosaic that kept the Angels on the wild card hunt in early September. His left-handed teammates Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney returned from injury in 2017, as did right-hander Garrett Richards, who has one more season left before free agency.

But the notion that Ohtani and Trout join forces through at least $ 2020 is what the baseball world has, and Los Angeles fans in particular, captivated by this movement.


– Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) December 8, 2017

Gallery: two stars of Japan: Shohei Ohtani

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