Shohei Ohtani Announces Plans With Japan For WBC; Thanks Fans For Support
MLB: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani has announced his intentions to represent Japan in the upcoming World Baseball Classic with a message to fans who have lent their support over the course of the year.

Ohtani put together another incredible season in 2022, following up on his Most Valuable Player award by improving both on the mound and at the plate. Going 15-9 in 28 starts over the course of 2022, posting an ERA of 2.33, 2.40 FIP, and a 1.01 WHIP in 166 innings, earned him recognition in categories. At the plate, he elevated his power numbers, launching 34 homers, while driving in 95 runs.

But the Angels missed the playoffs again, and Ohtani has his sights set on the World Baseball Classic that begins early next year. He posted a message on social media thanking Angels fans for the season and his optimism with the WBC.

Ohtani previously stated his desire to serve as the closer for team Japan in the WBC, and would certainly be an incredible addition to the talent pool.

With Ohtani officially joining Team Japan for the WBC, that makes two Angels superstars getting involved in some offseason baseball. Mike Trout is serving as the captain and centerfielder for the United States WBC team as well.

Angels intentions to keep Shohei Ohtani doesn’t have GM’s convinced

The Los Angeles Angels and general manager Perry Minasian have a tidal wave constantly around them with the future of Shohei Ohtani and his expiring contract, but ahead of the offseason, rumors surrounding his availability via trade have been halted.

After another season of production that included a run at a second consecutive Most Valuable Player Award, Ohtani cemented his presence in Major League Baseball. On the mound, he tossed 166 innings while posting a 2.33 ERA and led MLB with 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. Minasian avoided a unique arbitration process by inking him to a one-year $30 million deal ahead of the bulk of the offseason.

But Minasian has remained entrenched in his stance that the team won’t have Ohtani in any trade talks.

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