LOS ANGELES - It appears Shohei Ohtani will stay in Southern California – as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On Monday, the Dodgers announced the team has signed the two-way star on a 10-year deal. This comes as Ohtani, who has kept his free agency destination a secret throughout this offseason up until December 9, announced on social media over the weekend that he will suit up for the Boys in Blue.
Ohtani has agreed to terms with the Dodgers on a record-demolishing 10-year, $700 million deal, according to his agent, Nez Balelo.
Below is a statement released by the Japanese two-way star:
"To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process. Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.
And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself. Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers but for the baseball world.
There are some things that cannot be conveyed in writing, so I would like to talk more about this again at a later press conference.
Thank you very much."
Below is a statement released by the Dodgers:
Saturday's announcement officially turns the page on Ohtani’s time with the Los Angeles Angels, the team he played with from 2018 to 2023. In addition to the two MVP awards, Ohtani was named to the All-Star team three times, won the Silver Slugger twice and was named Rookie of the Year in his time with the Halos.
While Ohtani was able to put together a dream individual season, the Angels are now looking to bounce back after a nightmare 2023 calendar year. The Halos, as a team, finished the season with a 73-89 record in 2023. Days after it was revealed Ohtani would be shut down for the rest of the season due to the elbow injury, the team’s front office essentially "rage quit," placing former All-Star Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and three others on waivers.
Right as Ohtani was done for the year, his teammate Mike Trout was once again landed on the injured list – making Trout unavailable for the rest of the dismal regular season.
On December 11, MLB.com updated Ohtani's headshot, editing the photo of him wearing a Dodgers cap: