Having made one headline after another with his baseball exploits, Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani sprang big off-field news Thursday by announcing his marriage to a woman from Japan.

The two-time unanimous American League MVP, who signed a record-breaking contract with the Dodgers in the offseason, revealed his marriage to the unnamed woman via an Instagram post.

Screenshot of Shohei Ohtani's marriage announcement, which he posted on his Instagram account. (Kyodo)

"Not only have I begun a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers but I also have (begun) a new life with someone from my native country of Japan who is very special to me and I wanted everyone to know I am now married," Ohtani posted on Instagram.

The post included a shot of Ohtani's dog Dekopin, also known as Decoy, who gained prominence after appearing on TV alongside the Japanese two-way star as he accepted his 2023 AL MVP last November.

"Although we will be starting with a new team in a new environment, we hope that the two of us (and also one animal) will work together, support each other, and move forward together with our fans," Ohtani wrote.

Ohtani said he would speak to the media Thursday in Glendale, Arizona, where he is in camp with the Dodgers, and asked for the privacy of both families to be respected in the meantime.

The 29-year-old made a memorable spring training debut for the Dodgers on Tuesday when he homered in an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox.

Ohtani joined the Dodgers on a 10-year, $700 million contract in December. He underwent his second major elbow surgery in September and plans to play exclusively as a designated hitter this year before returning to the mound in 2025.

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