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08 December 2017, 12:51 | Pamela Mathis
Ohtani met with seven teams this week at the CAA offices in Los Angeles: the Dodgers, Angels, and Giants on Monday and the Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, and Padres on Tuesday.
But the Mariners general manager's actions speak volumes about their dogged pursuit of the most coveted free agent of the offseason. The Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels have each acquired $1 million in worldwide bonus pool money from the Minnesota Twins to aid their pursuit of Japanese outfielder and pitcherShohei Ohtani.
Minnesota had $3.07 million in bonus pool money before the trades, but it is not among the finalists in the Ohtani bidding. The Rangers have the most to offer Ohtani-$3.5 million as a maximum bonus, which is still a wildly depressed figure from what he'd receive if he were allowed to come to Major League Baseball as an global professional instead of as an amateur, but if money mattered that much to Ohtani he would have waited to come over as a full-fledged free agent in a couple years. While there is no timetable for a decision, one can expect it to be made around the winter meetings, which begin on December 10. That gives the Angels $2.315 million in pool money, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Banuelos was probably the Mariners' top catching prospect in their minor league system, certainly from a defensive standpoint.
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The Twins were not one of the seven finalists for Ohtani's services so they exploited a market with teams desperate for global spending money.
Banuelos was a fifth-round draft pick this year from Long Beach State. The Rangers, Cubs and Padres also met with Ohtani on Tuesday. The global bonus pool money is the only additional dollars that teams can pay Ohtani.
There's no harm in Ohtani taking his time with this, since it's a major life choice and he's not even getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars as a cushion that would make him feel better if he makes the wrong choice.
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