Why did Shohei Ohtani sign with the Dodgers? Two-way star explains decision to pick LA over Blue Jays, others

After days of speculation Shohei Ohtani could land with the Blue Jays, the two-way star said Saturday on Instagram he is joining the Dodgers.

Ohtani has agreed to a record-breaking, 10-year deal worth $700 million. It makes him the highest-paid player in the history of Major League Baseball by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Here’s a look into everything to know about why Ohtani chose the Dodgers over other teams in competition for him, including the Blue Jays, who were rumored at one point to be his destination.

MORE: Shohei Ohtani winners and losers: Dodgers land two-way star with shocking $700M contract

Why did Shohei Ohtani sign with the Dodgers?

Ohtani’s reasoning behind signing with Dodgers seems to come down to a couple of very simple factors — money and the ability to stay local.

Ohtani is MLB’s most talented player and the Dodgers didn’t shy away from paying the cost that comes with that. Ohtani also won’t be facing a big move as he stays in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, where he has spent his six-year MLB career to this point

Also, despite his injury history, Ohtani has made it known he wants to remain a two-way player and the Dodgers put him in a solid position to do just that.

“This is a unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player,“ Ohanti’s agent, Nez Balelo said in a report from The Los Angeles Times. “Shohei is thrilled to be a part of the Dodgers organization. He is excited to begin this partnership, and he structured his contract to reflect a true commitment from both sides to long-term success.”

Ohtani took to Instagram on Saturday to announce his decision to play for the other Los Angeles team as he departs from the Angels.

“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,” Ohtani wrote in the social media post. “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.”

He also apologized for taking longer than some expected to reach a final decision.

“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,” the 29-year old wrote. “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.”


Shohei Ohtani stats

Ohtani is a huge get for the Dodgers, as he’s fresh off his second MVP season and arguably his best ever in the MLB.

He won’t immediately be in action, though, as he sustained a UCL injury toward the end of the the season, undergoing surgery in September. Because of this, he’ll be unable to pitch in the upcoming season.

Here’s a look into how he’s performed at the plate since moving to MLB:

Shohei Ohtani hitting stats

Year Team GP AB R H RBI BB K Avg
2018 Angels 114 326 59 93 61 37 102 .285
2019 Angels 106 384 51 110 62 33 110 .286
2020 Angels 46 153 23 29 24 22 50 .190
2021 Angels 158 537 103 138 100 96 189 .257
2022 Angels 157 586 90 160 95 72 161 .273
2023 Angels 135 497 102 151 95 91 143 .304
Career   716 2,483 428 681 437 351 755 .274

Shohei Ohtani pitching stats

Year Team W L ERA GS IP BB K
2018 Angels 4 2 3.31 10 51.2 22 63
2020 Angels 0 1 37.80 2 1.2 8 3
2021 Angels 9 2 3.18 23 130.1 44 156
2022 Angels 15 9 2.33 28 166.0 44 219
2023 Angels 10 5 3.14 23 132.0 55 167
Career   38 19 3.01 86 481.2 173 608

Note: Ohtani did not pitch in 2019 after undergoing elbow surgery 

Source : ESPN.com

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