Mariners and Angels add $1M apiece from Twins to pursue Shohei Ohtani

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The 23-year-old Ohtani is 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in five seasons as a pitcher with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball.

About an hour later, Seattle announced that it had sent minor league catching prospect David Banuelos to Minnesota in exchange for $1 million of the Twins worldwide pool money. Around the same time, the Mariners also made a deal with the Twins, also to get $1 million in pool space.

In separate trades announced Wednesday night, the Twins shipped $1 million of their remaining 2017-18 global bonus money to both the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels in exchange for promising 2017 June draftees.

Banuelos was probably the Mariners' top catching prospect in their minor league system, certainly from a defensive standpoint. There are seven teams in the running - Texas, San Diego, the Chicago Cubs, the Angels, the Mariners, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Long Beach State and signed for a $300,000 bonus. The Twins had $3.2 million in their global pool, but Ohtani narrowed the list of teams he was considering to seven finalists, and the Twins were not on the list.

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A delegation from the Mariners met with Ohtani on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the offices of Creative Artists Agency. Once he has reached a decision on who to play for, the team and Ohtani will have until 11:59 p.m. ET on December 22 to sign a contract.

Los Angeles paid Pearson, 19, above slot at $1 million to keep him from signing with LSU after taking him in the third round in June.

Pearson, rated the Angels' No. 5 prospect by MLB.com, went nine picks after fellow LSU signee Blayne Enlow, a promising high school right-hander the Twins signed for $2 million. Also, all three major league outfielders - Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun - are now signed through 2020, at least.

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