12/05 14:47 CST Shohei Ohtani met Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts at Dodger
Shohei Ohtani met Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts at Dodger Stadium
By TERESA WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) --- Shohei Ohtani met with the Los Angeles Dodgers a few
days ago at Dodger Stadium, manager Dave Roberts revealed Tuesday at the winter
Ohtani, a unique two-way star, is expected to command a record contract of $500
million-plus on the free agent market coming off his second AL MVP award in
"He has a very good poker face," Roberts said.
The meeting lasted two-to-three hours.
"We want to respect Shohei's wishes as far as being private," Roberts said,
"but obviously people talk. I don't think I need to share what we talked about."
Roberts at first hesitated before giving a few details.
"It's a good possibility," he said. "Yeah, we met with him. I don't want to ---
I'd like to be honest and so we met with Shohei and we talked and I think it
went well. I think it went well. But at the end of the day, he's his own man
and he's going to do what's best for himself, where he feels most comfortable."
Ohtani led the AL with 44 homers and hit .304 with 96 RBIs, eight triples and
20 stolen bases for the Los Angeles Angels at the plate in a season that ended
Sept. 3 because of an oblique injury.
He was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts on the mound, striking out 167 and
walking 55 in 132 innings before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his
right elbow on Aug. 23. He had surgery on Sept. 19 that will keep him off the
mound until 2025.
Ohtani has not spoken with reporters since Aug. 9, failing to get on a
conference call after his MVP award.
"I don't know if it was more of a pitch," Roberts said. "I think it was more of
just sort of getting familiar, more familiar with him. I think that he had
questions for us, just trying to get more of the landscape. But being in this
league for six years, he's got a pretty good idea of the Dodgers, what we're
about, the city itself. And so for me, and speaking for our guys, it was just a
pleasure to get to spend some time with him."
Ohtani met with the Dodgers before signing with the Angels in December 2017 for
a $2,315,000 bonus --- because of his age, he was restricted by the amount of
teams' international signing bonus pools.
"I think in ?17, I think it was more --- of more of an overview, and you're
selling --- more of a sell on things that he didn't really know about: the
country, the city, the organization, potential role," Roberts said. "And I
think that in this situation --- not trying to speak for him --- but it's a
little bit more narrow on what his desires are as far as teams, and I don't
think the sell needed to be as large. I think it was more of just kind of
feeling, trying to feel what everyday life would look like."
Ohtani earned $3 million, $5.5 million and $30 million in his three seasons of
arbitration eligibility. His contract is expected to top the $426.5 million,
12-year contract of Angels outfielder Mike Trout that began in 2019.
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