Ohtani has been taken off the market ... again!

February 29th, 2024

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Even as his legend and worldwide popularity grows, Dodgers superstar remains an extremely private person. It’s unusual for him to reveal anything about himself outside of the playing field.

That’s why it took the baseball world by surprise when Ohtani decided to announce on Instagram that he was now married to a Japanese woman, though he did not reveal his wife’s name.

“I felt like it was good timing because it was before the season,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “I didn’t want any distractions when the season started. And I would have liked to announce it earlier, but there was some paperwork issues that lagged the whole process. So that was the whole deal.”

When asked when he got married, Ohtani decided to not reveal that information. He did, however, add that he has known his wife for about three or four years. She lives in Japan, but has been with him in Arizona during Spring Training.

Ohtani also added that his spouse is a “normal Japanese woman,” which is in reference to rumors that had surfaced in Japan that the woman was a former professional basketball player. Prior to Thursday’s announcement, there was no public indication Ohtani was dating anyone.

The two-time unanimous American League Most Valuable Player also said that his new marriage had “absolutely nothing to do” with his free agent decision this winter, which ultimately ended with him signing a record 10-year, $700 million deal with the Dodgers.

“She has a great understanding of my profession,” Ohtani said. “She’s willing to be wherever I want to play at. Ultimately, it was up to me. So it had nothing to do with it.”

Like everyone who saw the news, it doesn’t appear anybody in the Dodgers’ clubhouse knew Ohtani had been married. Kiké Hernández said he found out Thursday morning. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also said his wife was the one who broke the news to him once he woke up on Thursday.

In the end, it’s the first of what the Dodgers hope will be many rings for Ohtani over the next 10 years.

“First off, I was as surprised as everyone was, but very happy for him and his bride,” Roberts said. “As far as wedding gifts, we got surprised so we didn’t have much time to think about it. I’m sure it’s en route.”