Dodgers News: Shohei Ohtani Apologizes For Free Agency Process

A clandestine process ended over the weekend when Shohei Ohtani announced he was signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nez Balelo of Creative Artist Agency simultaneously sent out a press release that further detailed his client had agreed to a record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers.

Ohtani chose to sign with the Dodgers over fellow finalists Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays. As his free agency wound to a close, it appeared Ohtani had largely narrowed his decision to choosing between the Dodgers and Blue Jays.

Though, some reports indicate the Angels and Dodgers were the primary teams Ohtani ultimately selected from.

However it unfolded, the 29-year-old got to announce the decision himself on Instagram and it included an apology for what he described as a long process:

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.

Ohtani joins the Dodgers on the heels of winning a second unanimous American League MVP Award but not being able to pitch next season because of undergoing right elbow surgery. Ohtani, his agency and the Angels did not provide specifics of the operation, but it has been reported to be a second career Tommy John.

Even with being limited to a designated hitter role in 2024, signing Ohtani is a significant coup for the Dodgers as they look to overcome a recent trend of subpar postseason performances.

Shohei Ohtani contract details

While Ohtani’s contract is the largest in professional sports history, it reportedly includes a significant amount of deferred salary. That is said to have stemmed from Ohtani’s goal of providing the Dodgers with financial flexibility to continue fielding a complete roster in the years ahead.

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