Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Twins get players from Mariners, Angels for worldwide bonus money

Twins get players from Mariners, Angels for worldwide bonus money

Banuelos immediately becomes the top catching prospect in the Twins' system, ahead of 2016 second-rounder Ben Rortvedt and projected 2018 backup Mitch Garver, their minor league player of the year. This move comes moments after the Mariners traded catching prospect David Banuelos to the Twins for the same amount of global funds.

Shohei Ohtani had no interest in signing with the Twins, so they are using worldwide bonus money to trade for young prospects from teams in the Ohtani sweepstakes.

Given that widening gap, it seems likely that the Mariners, Angels and Rangers are the front-runners for Ohtani, although the Padres are thought to be strong contenders despite their bonus limitations.

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.

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 essence, the Twins added two high draft picks to their 2017 class at a nominal cost. Both teams could be more appealing than an NL team because of the DH option they could offer Ohtani, who wants to hit in addition to pitch.

Ohtani met with representatives from all seven teams on Monday and Tuesday.

The Mariners now have $2.55 million in worldwide slot money, the Angels $2.3 million and the Rangers $3.54 million.

Seattle can now offer Otani $2,557,500 and Los Angeles can spend $2,315,000.

The 23-year-old is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

The Twins ended up with $3.25 million in global bonus money when they voided the contract of Jelfry Marte, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic. But the Mariners general manager's actions speak volumes about their dogged pursuit of the most coveted free agent of the offseason.

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.

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