The most dramatic — and perhaps most secretive — free agent pursuit in baseball history has come to an end.
Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani is signing with the Dodgers, he announced Saturday on Instagram. The deal is for a mind-blowing 10 years and $700 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and others. Ohtani’s decision to bolt the Angels for the nearby Dodgers comes after speculation over the past few days that he would end up with the Blue Jays. The Cubs, Giants and other clubs were rumored to be involved as well.
Ohtani made the announcement on his own. His deal blows away the previous record for the biggest deal in MLB history, which was 12-year, $426.5 million extension Mike Trout signed with the Angels in 2019.
“To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision,” Ohtani wrote. “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.
“And to all Dodgers fans, 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. 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.
“There are some things that cannot be conveyed in writing, so I would like to talk more about this again at a later press conference.
“Thank you very much.”