Dodgers to Introduce Shohei

The Canadian Press – | History: 462523

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to welcome Shohei Ohtani to Hollywood.

Baseball's biggest star will be formally introduced by the team at a press conference on Thursday.

A unique dual star as a hitter and pitcher, the 29-year-old Japanese sensation left the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent after six years. He's moving 30 miles down Interstate 5 past the Dodgers outperformed the competition offering a 10-year, $700 million contract in a deal announced Monday.

It will be the first time Ohtani has spoken to the media since August 9, two weeks before an injury to the pitcher that surgery required and will keep him off the mound until 2025. He had surgery on September 19, but the nature of the surgery has not been fully announced. Ohtani had Tommy John surgery on October 1, 2018.

The two-time AL MVP has a .274 batting average with 171 home runs, 437 RBIs and 86 stolen bases, along with a 39-19 record with a 3.01 ERA and 608 strikeouts in 481 2/3 innings. Ohtani has 34.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), per Baseball Reference.

“He’s got that advantage where he’s not afraid of any pitcher,” Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly said. “Especially in the playoffs, you need a guy like that, who is obviously not afraid and wants to be the star of a big moment.”

Ohtani's unusual contract calls for annual salaries of $70 million, and of each year's salary, $68 million is deferred interest-free, payable in equal installments each July 1, 2034-43. He can also cancel the agreement if controlling owner Mark Walter or president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman are no longer with the team, a person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because terms have not been announced.

Kelly is switching uniform numbers, opening up number 17 to Ohtani.

“Our goal is the World Series every year,” Kelly said, “so if you could put players in there who aren’t afraid of the moment, that would be a huge step forward here.”

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APMLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

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