The Mariners traded minor league catcher David Banuelos to the Twins for $1 million in worldwide slot money while the Angels traded outfield prospect Jacob Pearson also to the Twins for an additional $1 million in global bonus pool money.
In separate deals, the Mariners sent catcher David Banuelos to the Twins and the Angels sent outfielder Jacob Pearson to complete the transactions. But the Mariners general manager's actions speak volumes about their dogged pursuit of the most coveted free agent of the offseason.
Minnesota had $3.07 million in bonus pool money before the trades, but it is not among the finalists in the Ohtani bidding.
Banuelos was a fifth-round draft pick this year from Long Beach State. Also, all three major league outfielders - Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun - are now signed through 2020, at least. In his first pro season, he hit.236 (30 for 127) with eight doubles, four homers and 26 RBI in 36 games for Short-season Everett. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 10th-best prospect in Mariners system.
Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com noted Ohtani and his representatives met with all seven finalists by the conclusion of Tuesday, suggesting either a choice or a narrowing of the field could be the next step. The Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Padres are capped at $300,000. They were not among the teams invited to meet with Ohtani, so they didn't have as much use for the extra money. The Angels now have around $2.3 million to offer him. However, he has a slew of endorsements in Japan and likely will add more once he joins the Major League Baseball that help keep him well-financed.
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