Japanese star Shohei Otani decides to sign with Angels

A few days after deciding New York wasn't for him, the Babe Ruth of Japan has signed with the Angels.

Shoehei Otani, the highly sought after pitcher/outfielder, confirmed his decision on Friday afternoon through his agency.

"This morning, after a thorough, detailed process, Shohei Otani has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels,” Nez Balelo, the co-head of Otani’s agency CAA Baseball, said in a statement. “Shohei is humbled and flattered by all the time and effort that so many teams put into their presentations and sincerely thanks them for their professionalism. In the end he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball.

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Shohei Ohtani through his career
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Shohei Ohtani through his career
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - AUGUST 31: Shohei Otani of Japan reacts in the third inning during the 18U Baseball World Championship Group B match between Canada and Japan at Mokdong Stadium on August 31, 2012 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - AUGUST 31: Shohei Otani of Japan pitches in the second inning during the 18U Baseball World Championship Group B match between Canada and Japan at Mokdong Stadium on August 31, 2012 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
This picture taken on July 26, 2012 shows Shohei Otani, an 18-year-old Hanamaki Higashi High School studentm after he lost a baseball game the northern Japanese city of Morioka, Iwate prefecture. It was reported on October 21, 2012 that Otani has decided to try his hand in the Major Leagues in the US, making the jump after his high school graduation. JAPAN OUT AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 06: Shohei Otani of Japan looks on in the ninth inning during the 18U Baseball World Championship match between Japan and South Korea at Mokdong Stadium on September 6, 2012 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 07: Cavan Biggio of United States tags out Shohei Otani of Japan as he slides into first base in the fifth inning during the U18 Baseball World Championship match between Japan and the United States at Mokdong stadium on September 7, 2012 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Japan's pitcher Shohei Otani, who both pitches and hits for the Nippon Ham Fighters, attends a practice session before an exhibition baseball game against U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Stars in Tokyo November 14, 2014. Otani has made waves in Japan by throwing strikes and smashing home runs for the Nippon Ham Fighters, but the 'Double Sworded Samurai' may have to give up one of his weapons if he is to realise his dream of making it big in Major League Baseball. Picture taken November 14, 2014. To match story BASEBALL-JAPAN/OTANI REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL HEADSHOT)
Japan's pitcher Shohei Otani, who both pitches and hits for the Nippon Ham Fighters, attends a practice session before an exhibition baseball game against U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Stars in Tokyo November 14, 2014. Otani has made waves in Japan by throwing strikes and smashing home runs for the Nippon Ham Fighters, but the 'Double Sworded Samurai' may have to give up one of his weapons if he is to realise his dream of making it big in Major League Baseball. Picture taken November 14, 2014. To match story BASEBALL-JAPAN/OTANI REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
SAPPORO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 18: Starting pitcher Shohei Otani #16 of Samurai Japan pitches in the first inning during the game five of Samurai Japan and MLB All Stars at Sapporo Dome on November 18, 2014 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: (L-R) Former New York Yankee players Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui, and Shohei Otani of Nippnham pose for photographers during the Tomodachi Charity Baseball Game on March 21, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
SAPPORO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 08: Shohei Otani #16 of Japan is interviewed after his team's 5-0 win in the WBSC Premier 12 match between Japan and South Korea at the Sapporo Dome on November 8, 2015 in Sapporo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 19: Starting pitcher Shohei Otani (R) #16 of Japan high fives with infielder Nobuhiro Matsuda (L) #3 after the top of sixth inning during the WBSC Premier 12 semi final match between South Korea and Japan at the Tokyo Dome on November 19, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Japan's pitcher Shohei Otani hurls against South Korean batter during the semi final of the Premier 12 baseball tournament in Tokyo. South Korea defeated Japan 4-3. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRES JAPAN OUT (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 10: Shohei Otani of Japan bats during the international friendly match between Japan and Mexico at the Tokyo Dome on November 10, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Sports Nippon/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 12: Shohei Otani of Japan bats during the international friendly match between Japan and Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome on November 12, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Sports Nippon/Getty Images)
Japanese baseball player Shohei Otani delivers his speech during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on November 11, 2017. Baseball superstar Otani voiced in the press conference his wish to continue playing both on the mound and at the plate in the US, saying he has not given up either pitching or batting. / AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS / STR / Japan OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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"I want to thank the clubs and everyone else for respecting our intent to make this very important process as private as possible. We were resolved to having a fair, methodical process. Teams clearly put in a lot of work, and we are grateful for that. The past few weeks also further demonstrated Shohei's incredible thoughtfulness, attention to detail and determination to make an informed decision. He read every page of every presentation and listened to every word in each meeting, and he was so impressed that it was not an easy choice. While there has been much speculation about what would drive Shohei's decision, what mattered to him most wasn't market size, time zone or league but that he felt a true bond with the Angels. He sees this as the best environment to develop and reach the next level and attain his career goals. More than ever, I believe this is not only a special talent but a man of special character, and like everyone else I'm excited to see him in Major League Baseball."

The Yankees were previously considered to be one of the favorites to land the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star, who was posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters on Dec. 1. But GM Brian Cashman told reporters Sunday that the team had been informed the club wasn't among the ones invited to make an in-person pitch to Otani.

Yankees president Randy Levine was surprised by the snub, but he added that if someone doesn't want to play in New York, he shouldn't.

“Not everybody can play in New York or wishes to play in New York," he quipped.

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