Shohei Ohtani’s dog was right beside him when was named the first ever two-time unanimous MVP winner Thursday night. The free agent earned the American League honors after receiving all 30 first-place votes. Ohtani was also the unanimous AL MVP in 2021.
“Obviously I wanted to win it last year, but (Aaron) Judge had a spectacular season and, deservedly so, he won it. So I wanted to come back stronger and try to win it this year, and I know my rivals, (Marcus) Semien, (Corey) Seager, they had great seasons, and congrats to them for winning the World Series. I think it’s awesome,” Ohtani said via an interpreter. “My goal was to try to come out on top, and this kind of pays off all my hard work.”
Ohtani turned in another strong season despite suffering an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament that shut him down from pitching in August. The two-way phenom continued to hit, and ended the 2023 MLB season batting .304 with 44 home runs, 95 RBI and a 1.066 OPS.
It will be an interesting offseason for Ohtani, who is a free agent for the first time in his career. He has yet to play in a postseason game since making his MLB debut in 2018 with the Los Angeles Angels, and made it clear at this year’s All-Star Game that the desire to win “gets stronger” every year.
Ohtani is expected to have a slew of suitors — including the Boston Red Sox — even though he won’t pitch again until 2025.