ANAHEIM (CBSLA/AP) — Japanese star Shohei Ohtani is bringing his arm and bat to the Los Angeles Angels, pairing him with two-time MVP Mike Trout.
Ohtani’s agent put out a statement Friday saying the prized two-way player had decided to sign with the Angels, a surprise winner over Seattle, Texas and several other teams.
Agent Nez Balelo said the 2016 Japanese MVP “felt a true bond with the 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,” Balelo said in a statement.
The Angels will have to pay the $20 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters, but not a huge salary. Ohtani will sign a minor league contact and can receive up to $2,315,000 in international bonus money.
Ohtani was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year, and was slowed by thigh and ankle injuries. He hit .332 in 65 games with eight homers and 31 RBIs.
The Angels went 80-82 this year and missed the playoffs.
In an April interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes”, Ohtani said he’d love to face Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
“Just thinking about facing [Kershaw] makes me really happy and excited. I could just tell he’s such a great pitcher through the TV screen,” Ohtani said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)