Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani says he is married and his new bride is Japanese

Shohei Ohtani with the Dodgers.
Shohei Ohtani with the Dodgers.Ashley LandisAP

Baseball star Shohei Ohtani announced on social media on Thursday that he is married. The two-way player moved from the Los Angeles Angels to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December on a record-breaking contract worth $700 million over 10 years.

He wrote on Instagram in Japanese: "The season is approaching but I would like to announce to everyone that I have gotten married."

He said his new wife was a "Japanese woman" without identifying her. He said he would reveal more in an interview on Friday; presumably at the Dodgers spring training venue.

"I began a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers, but I also have started a new life with someone from my native country of Japan who is very special to me," he wrote.

He asked the media refrain from "conducting unauthorized interviews."

The news broke in the middle of the night in North America, and late afternoon in Japan where it was immediately the top news item on local television.

Local television reports daily on his training in the United States and, because of his unprecedented success in North America, he has become the pride of Japan, and the Dodgers have become Japan's de facto team.

Ohtani is training in Arizona for the Major League Baseball season, preparing for the Dodgers to open in Seoul, South Korea, on March 20-21 in a two-game series against the San Diego Padres.

The 29-year-old Ohtani is Japan's biggest celebrity, and there has always been curiosity around his personal life, which he has always kept very private. His focus, and his image, has always been 100%-baseball focused — free of scandals or tabloid news.

The post on Instagram also included a photo of his dog "Dekopin," which is also called "Decoy."

He wrote: "We hope the two of us — and one animal — will work together."

Ohtani just underwent surgery on his right elbow and will not pitch this season. He will be used as a designated hitter, and the possibility also exists he could play in the field.

In his spring training debut this week, he hit a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox.