Mariners, Angels Make Trades to Free Up International Money for Shohei Ohtani

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It is unconfirmed, but the Angels nearly certainly made this deal in order to be able to offer Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani more money.

Rosenthal notes that the Mariners now have $2.55 million in global slot money while the Angels have $2.315 million.

Acquiring the additional cash is noteworthy, considering AJ Cassavell of MLB.com pointed out the finalists outside of the Mariners and Angels-the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants-can offer Ohtani only $300,000 as a bonus.

A delegation from the Mariners met with Ohtani on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the offices of Creative Artists Agency.

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

The pursuit of Shohei Ohtani isn't really about money, though maybe it is, at least in a relative sense.

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.

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

Banuelos was a fifth-round draft pick this year from Long Beach State.

Pearson is the much better prospect between the two, a third-round selection who was given seven figures out of high school and who has a chance to carry a plus hit and speed tool when he's done developing.

Ohtani's representatives told the Twins on Sunday he would not sign with Minnesota. Rosenthal suggested both teams were "clearly adding money for Ohtani", although Pearson previously received a $1 million signing bonus. The team that lands him can sign him to a minor league deal. 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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