Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Pursuing Ohtani, Mariners deal for bonus money

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Lucia Summers | 07 December, 2017, 05:38

Seattle, Los Angeles and Texas are among seven teams believed to be in the running for Ohtani.

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 global bonus pool dollars to enhance the possible bonus for Ohtani.

Ohtani, the 23-year-old two-way star, is not believed to put a high priority on finances as he makes his decision, which must come by December 22. Shortly thereafter, the Angels sent outfield prospect Jacob Pearson to the Twins, also for $1 million in global slot money.

The Angels also acquired $1.21 million in global bonus space last week in a trade with the Atlanta Braves for Jim Johnson.

The Mariners gave up catcher David Banuelos, who was one of their top prospects.

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Pearson was a third-round pick in 2017 by the Angels out of high school in Louisiana, and in his professional debut hit.226/.302/.284 in 40 games in the Arizona Rookie League.

Only the Texas Rangers can offer the 23-year-old two-way phenom more money with $3.535 million available in their global bonus pool.

Seattle can now offer Ohtani $2,557,500 and Los Angeles can spend $2,315,000. 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 rated him as the fifth-best prospect in the Angels' system.

Ohtani has until 11:59 p.m. ET on December 22 to sign with a major league team.

With both the Mariners and Angels making these trades, both appear confident they are close enough to landing Ohtani that adding an extra $1 million to his signing bonus might sway his decision. Due to his age, Ohtani can only sign a minor league contract and is subject to the global bonus pool.

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