The Bachelor type game of signing Shohei Otani in Major League Baseball has finally come to an end probably at the relief of every team involved. Shohei Otani is basically the Babe Ruth of Japan. He has done it all in Japan, as a hitter and as a pitcher, and was ready to bring his talents over to America. He met with a lot of teams and ultimately narrowed his decision down to LAD, LAA, SD, SEA, CHC, and TEX. And probably to the surprise of most people, he chose the Angels. If you look at what he was asking, the Angels made perfect sense. However no one really expected it just cause the Angels are not an elite team.
Otani was looking for a smaller market team and even though it says Los Angeles Angels, the Angels are located in Anaheim, CA, about an hour away from Los Angeles. I have to believe that General Manager of the Angels, Billy Eppler, was completely responsible for this signing and must have really persuaded Shohei in their meeting. It also helps your case when you have the best player in Major League Baseball on your team. And you have to think that weather played an important role in the decision especially with him coming from Japan. The Angels held a press conference at the gates of Angel Stadium to introduce the next superstar to the city of Anaheim.
Otani walked up to the mic and said “Hello, my name is Shohei Otani” in perfect English and the crowd erupted. He was very polite throughout his press conference and even congratulated Mike Trout on getting married that same weekend. Manager of the Angels, Mike Scioscia, explained how they will come up with a plan in order to get Otani at-bats and on the pitching mound.
It has recently been reported that the Angels are considering moving to a 6-man rotation this year. At the end of the press conference, Otani made a joke noting how he wanted number 27 but could not have it.
Shohei Otani was a very big acquisition for the Angels this year. No, it does not put them as favorites to win the division but it certainty puts them in a great position to compete for a wild card spot. The Angels competed for a wild card spot for a good part of last year but eventually tailed off and this acquisition puts them at a better chance to compete for the spot during the entirety of the season.