Twins use worldwide bonus money to acquire two minor-league prospects

Twins use worldwide bonus money to acquire two minor-league prospects

Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because he is not yet 25, but is expected to make millions in endorsements when he signs.

"The money acquired in this deal was with an eye toward Shohei Ohtani and the pursuit of him as a player for us", Angels GM Billy Eppler told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register after the Johnson trade.

Seattle and the Los Angeles Angels, eager to sign the Japanese star, both obtained $1 million in global bonus pool cap space from the Twins on Wednesday and parted with players taken in the June draft.

Banuelos was probably the Mariners' top catching prospect in their minor league system, certainly from a defensive standpoint. The 21-year-old hit.236/.331/.394 with four homers and 26 RBIs in 36 games at Class A Short-Season Everett. The Twins, who had $3.25 million in bonus money before being eliminated by Ohtani's camp on Sunday, received outfielder Jacob Pearson from Los Angeles and catcher David Banuelos from Seattle in the deal.

Seattle can now offer Otani $2,557,500 and Los Angeles can spend $2,315,000. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Long Beach State and signed for a $300,000 bonus.


Rosenthal noted the Angels received $1 million in additional worldwide slot money as a result of the move.

Two of the seven finalists for Shohei Ohtani acted Wednesday night to sweeten the financial incentive for the Japanese two-way star, but still trail the Rangers when it comes to available worldwide signing bonus money.

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. Also, all three major league outfielders - Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun - are now signed through 2020, at least. Because of the Braves scandal, Major League Baseball told teams it could use money remaining from this year's pool or dip into next year's pool to sign players, but could not double dip.

It improves the Angels' bonus pool to $2.315 million and the Mariners to $2.55 million. He remains a free agent.

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