Angels' Shohei Ohtani, New Balance Agree to Multiyear Shoe and Apparel Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2023

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels poses for photographs during a press conference ahead of the 2023 World Baseball Classic tournament in Tokyo on January 6, 2023. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP) (Photo by YUICHI YAMAZAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

One of baseball's biggest stars will have some new shoes for the 2023 season.

New Balance announced Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Los Angeles Angels slugger and pitcher Shohei Ohtani. Nick DePaula of ESPN noted it's a multiyear deal for footwear and endorsements.

Per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, Ohtani had endorsed Asics since 2014, his second year in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league.

He joins a list of high-profile athletes in the New Balance family, including Kawhi Leonard, Sydney McLaughlin and Francisco Lindor.

The switch to New Balance comes as the eyes of the baseball world will be upon him this season. The two-way star will be in the final year of his contract.

After the Moreno family, which owns the Angels, announced last week it would no longer explore selling the franchise, Andy Martino of SNY reported Ohtani was "far less likely" to re-sign with the team.

Los Angeles could look to trade him during the 2023 campaign and bring in a significant return before seeing him sign elsewhere in the offseason.

Martino listed the Los Angeles Dodgers as a team expected to pursue Ohtani, while Jeff Passan pointed to the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox as potential landing spots on The Pat McAfee Show in December.

Whichever team signs or trades for him will have the league's most unique player, who took home the 2021 American League MVP and finished second in voting in 2022 because of his talent at the plate and on the mound.

He will now hit those home runs and strike out opponents in New Balance cleats.