Mariners, Angels each get $1M in bonus money from Twins amid Ohtani pursuit


The Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels are taking no chances as they pursue Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani.

The Mariners and Angels - two of the seven reported finalists for Ohtani's services - swung separate trades with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday that gave both AL West clubs additional international bonus slot money to potentially offer the pitcher/outfielder.

Seattle acquired an extra $1 million in bonus money from the Twins in exchange for minor-league catcher David Banuelos, while the Angels sent outfield prospect Jacob Pearson to Minnesota for $1 million.

The Twins weren't a finalist for Ohtani despite possessing the third-highest amount of international bonus money ($3.245 million) before Wednesday's trades.

While both the Mariners and Angels increased their bonus pools significantly as a result of the deals, they're both still over $1 million behind the Texas Rangers, who can offer Ohtani the most money of any team still involved in the race.

Team Available Bonus Dollars
Rangers $3.535M
Mariners $2.557M
Angels $2.315M
Cubs $300K
Dodgers $300K
Giants $300K
Padres $300K

The Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres can only offer Ohtani $300,000, and are not allowed to trade for any additional funds, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

In exchange for their bonus money, the Twins received a pair of prospects who were ranked highly in their former organizations.

Banuelos, 21, was the Mariners' fifth-round draft pick (153rd overall) this past June. The Long Beach State product was a finalist for the 2017 Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the best college catcher, and was ranked as the Mariners' No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline prior to Wednesday's trade. He hit .236/.331/.394 with four homers and 26 RBIs during his first professional campaign in the short-season Northwest League.

Pearson was selected by the Angels in the third round of this year's draft out of high school in Louisiana, where he was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year. The 19-year-old, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Angels' No. 5 prospect, slashed .226/.302/.284 with eight extra-base hits in 40 games for the Angels' Arizona rookie-league affiliate this summer.

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