The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes have come to a conclusion. The two-way player has signed with the Angels. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times was the first to report it.
Otani signs with #Angels.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 8, 2017
This comes as a surprise to many. Every team involved thought they had a shot, but the Angels were one of the less talked about options. The Mariners have been making moves to acquire more international slot bonus money to try to entice the 23-year old. The Mariners and Padres both were thought to have an advantage due to their spring training facility being located in Peoria where Ohtani has spent time in the past. It appears that none of this ended up being a factor at all.
Here is what Shohei Ohtani’s agent had to say about the decision, compliments of Deadspin.com:
This morning, after a thorough, detailed process, Shohei Ohtani has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Shohei is humbled and flattered by all the time and effort that so many teams put into their presentations and sincerely thanks them for their professionalism. In the end, he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball.
I want to thank the clubs and everyone else for respecting our intent to make this very important process as private as possible. We were resolved to having a fair, methodical process. Teams clearly put in a lot of work, and we are grateful for that.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times also shared a quote from Ohtani’s agent:
What mattered to him most wasn’t market size, time zone or league but that he felt a true bond with the Angels. He sees this as the best environment to develop and reach the next level and attain his career goals.
What role the Angels offered the two-way star is unclear, but it was obviously very appealing to him. The Angels had $2.315 million in international slot money available after acquiring $1 million in a trade. Their efforts may have been overlooked, but they paid off.
We will see exactly how he impacts the Angels, but this is a huge win for them.