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M's bolster funds in pursuit of Ohtani
08 December 2017, 12:51 | Andy Ferguson
Mariners acquire international bonus money from Twins
Shohei Ohtani has completed a round of meetings with all seven major league clubs in the running to sign him, USA media reported Wednesday.
But the Mariners general manager's actions speak volumes about their dogged pursuit of the most coveted free agent of the offseason.
On Wednesday night, the Seattle Mariners struck on a deal with the Minnesota Twins, sending 2017 fifth-round draft pick David Banuelos to Minnesota for $1 million in global bonus allocations. Seattle sent minor league catcher David Banuelos to the Twins, while the Angels traded minor league outfielder Jacob Pearson. The team that lands him will get a full six years of control after paying a $20 million posting fee to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and a relatively miniscule bonus (between $3.535 million and $300,000) to Ohtani himself.
The Twins had hoped to be involved in the Otani bidding, but once they were shut out, they turned around and used their global bonus money to trade for prospects.
On Wednesday evening, shortly after holding a conference call with local media in preparation for next week's Major League Baseball Winter Meetings where he would not discuss the Japanese phenom, Dipoto made a trade with the Twins to acquire additional worldwide bonus pool dollars to enhance the possible bonus for Ohtani. With this development, it's fair to wonder if the American League teams hold a slight advantage, given that the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Padres are all capped at $300,000 in global spending money.
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Banuelos was probably the Mariners' top catching prospect in their minor league system, certainly from a defensive standpoint.
A delegation from the Mariners met with Ohtani on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the offices of Creative Artists Agency.
Pearson was Los Angeles' third-round selection this year. It is bonus pool money and prospects, two things that are not exactly sexy in the way that a Giancarlo Stanton trade will be, whenever it happens.
There's no harm in Ohtani taking his time with this, since it's a major life choice and he's not even getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars as a cushion that would make him feel better if he makes the wrong choice.
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