Mariners & Angels acquire more worldwide slot money in pursuit of Shohei Ohtani

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Getty Images

Money doesn't seem to be the primary concern for Ohtani, given that the 23-year-old could have stayed in Japan and waited two more years until he was an unrestricted worldwide free agent and made considerably more money.

MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand reported that the Mariners made a trade with the Minnesota Twins to acquire $1 million in worldwide signing bonus money. That additional money gives the Mariners a total of $2.55 million in their bonus pool to offer Ohtani.

Both the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels acquired $1 million in worldwide bonus slot space from the Minnesota Twins, presumably to add to the amount they can offer as a signing bonus to the Japanese star.

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. In any event, the Mariners and Angels have been perhaps the most active teams during the Ohtani recruitment, and now they'll of course be able to make an even more lucrative pitch to the 23-year-old prized free agent. There are seven teams in the running - Texas, San Diego, the Chicago Cubs, the Angels, the Mariners, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco. 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.

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.

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

Pearson, 19, was the Angels' No. 5 prospect according to MLB.com, although he would have likely fallen one slot when the deal for Kevin Maitan is finalized. Because Ohtani is under 25 he is subject to worldwide spending limits, which severely limits his earning power on the free market.

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