Shohei Ohtani to sign with the Los Angeles Angels

Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani

The Angels got the biggest offseason news in years on Friday.

In addition to the Angels, Ohtani had met with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. The Angels went from 50-1 to 30-1 to win the World Series at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

If Pujols has truly improved his health and conditioning - as the Angels insist he has - he could play more games at first base, clearing the way for Ohtani to be the DH.

The move gives the Mariners $2.55 million available to give the highly coveted Ohtani, while the Angels now have $2.315 million.

Prior to 2017, both Ohtani's pitching and batting have sparkled, catching the attention not only from baseball scouts all over the globe but also that of Major League executives.

Early in the recruiting process Ohtani eliminated all East Coast teams and most Midwest teams from consideration, which upset some executives.

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Shohei Ohtani has chose to sign with the Angels.

On Wednesday, the Angels traded minor league outfielder Jacob Pearson to the Minnesota Twins for $1 million in global bonus pool money.

"This deal puts us in a stronger position in our pursuit of Shohei Ohtani", Eppler said last Thursday. In Japan, starters pitch every seven days, as opposed to every five in the majors.

There's no harm in Ohtani taking his time with this, since it's a major life choice and he's not even getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars as a cushion that would make him feel better if he makes the wrong choice.

Ohtani was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year while slowed by thigh and ankle injuries, but those numbers don't indicate the incredible potential seen in a pitcher whose fastball has been clocked above 100 miles per hour.

Ohtani has ample opportunity to fulfill his biggest ambitions with the Angels, who are in need of a top starting pitcher. When fully healthy in 2016, Ohtani hit.322/.416/.588 with 22 home runs in 382 plate appearances while throwing 140 innings with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts. For his career, the Japanese worldwide has a 42-15 record with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts in 543 innings, and a.286 batting average with 48 homers and 166 RBI. Besides, Ohtani hasn't played the outfield regularly in three years, and pitching and hitting would be a lot to ask of his legs.

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