Both the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels acquired $1 million in worldwide bonus slot space from the Minnesota Twins, presumably to add to the amount they can offer as a signing bonus to the Japanese star.
Acquiring the additional cash is noteworthy, considering AJ Cassavell of MLB.com pointed out the finalists outside of the Mariners and Angels-the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants-can offer Ohtani only $300,000 as a bonus.
The pursuit of Shohei Ohtani isn't really about money, though maybe it is, at least in a relative sense.
The Mariners gave up catcher David Banuelos, who was one of their top prospects.
The Twins were among the teams with the most available signing bonus money, which is why they were able to make these deals.
On the Twins' side of things, Banuelos, a fifth-rounder out of Long Beach State drafted just this year, put up a.725 OPS across 36 games in the Northwest League in 2017.
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This is significant because the Mariners and Angels are two of seven teams still in the running for Ohtani, who profiles as both a potential ace on the mound and impact hitter at the plate, and Ohtani is subject to the strict bonus limits that cover July 2 worldwide free agents.
Rosenthal noted the Angels received $1 million in additional global slot money as a result of the move.
Los Angeles paid Pearson, 19, above slot at $1 million to keep him from signing with LSU after taking him in the third round in June. In 65 games at the plate, he hit.332/.403/.540 with eight home runs, 31 RBI and 16 doubles.
Ohtani has until 11:59 p.m. ET on December 22 to sign with a major league team.
Minnesota had $3.07 million in bonus pool money before the trades, but it is not among the finalists in the Ohtani bidding. Due to his age, Ohtani can only sign a minor league contract and is subject to the global bonus pool.