Closure is a good thing. Is it enough? Probably not. But it’s what we’ve got.
Today, Shohei Ohtani’s agency announced that, after his selection process, he was signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. And in so doing, he crushed the souls of six other clubs’ fan bases. We will find a way to carry on.
Here’s the announcement:
Here is a statement from Nez Balelo, Shohei Ohtani's agent, about his client's decision to sign with the Angels. pic.twitter.com/oPrFPUTcX3
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) December 8, 2017
Ohtani’s value to an MLB club cannot be overstated (with the only caveat that we are talking about a 23-year-old who has not yet played in MLB), and the Angels just got themselves a huge, huge addition. With Mike Trout, the Angels now instantly have two of the biggest names in the sport, and they will be competitive in 2018.
It’ll be fun to follow Ohtani’s progress in the big leagues, and I hope the Angels give him a full and fair chance to be their part-time DH. If I can’t have Ohtani on the Cubs, I at least want to see maximum fun, and far away from being a competitive roadblock to the Cubs.
As for the Cubs, we’ve gotta believe that Ohtani was always a bonus, not a “plan.” Heck, any team that was counting on landing Ohtani was running a fool’s errand. So the Cubs will resume their search for at least one additional starting pitcher, and go to work in the bullpen. Although there is no clarity yet in the Giancarlo Stanton trade market, with Ohtani in the rearview, I suspect the broader market will continue to open up, as it has already a bit this week (including the Cubs’ signing of Tyler Chatwood).
I’m bummed. There’s no getting around that. Ohtani projects to be very good and very, very unique. I wanted to see that guy in a Cubs uniform. I don’t really have a better conclusion just yet. In this precise moment, I’m just bummed.