The Los Angeles Angels have secured arguably the biggest name in MLB’s 2017 Free Agent class, Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Nez Balelo, Ohtani’s agent, spoke with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times about what mattered most to Ohtani in his decision on picking a team. He explained that the rumors speculating that Ohtani didn’t want to play in a big market were false.
Ohtani’s free agency was spearheaded by his ability to be a dominate hitter and pitcher, but also because of the rules swirling around him. Under the collective bargaining agreement, anyone under 25 years old is defined as an international amateur, restricting them to a minor league contract with a signing bonus from a team’s international bonus pool. Ohtani is only 23 years old, which means he must sign a minor league deal with the Angels and can only receive a high signing bonuses with the money that is left in the organizations international bonus pool.
The Ohtani signing brings some stability to the Angels lineup behind their MVP caliber player Mike Trout. The Angels will look to rebound this year after finishing two games below .500 last season.