- They are trying to go the extra mile: One theory is Ohtani's representation has informed the teams that he really does like what they have to offer and that they are the two finalists, but could they possibly do a little something extra to sweeten the pot? But the Mariners general manager's actions speak volumes about their dogged pursuit of the most coveted free agent of the offseason.
Seattle and the Los Angeles Angels, eager to sign the Japanese star, both obtained $1 million in worldwide bonus pool cap space from the Twins on Wednesday and parted with players taken in the June draft. That gives the Angels $2.315 million in pool money, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Going to the Twins will be catching prospect David Banuelos.
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On the Twins' side of things, Banuelos, a fifth-rounder out of Long Beach State drafted just this year, put up a.725 OPS across 36 games in the Northwest League in 2017. In 65 games at the plate, he hit.332/.403/.540 with eight home runs, 31 RBI and 16 doubles.
Ohtani has until 11:59 p.m. ET on December 22 to sign with a major league team.
A delegation from the Mariners met with Ohtani on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the offices of Creative Artists Agency. The Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Padres are capped at $300,000. Teams had to pay a $20 million posting fee for the rights to negotiate with him. There are still teams with bonus slots to trade and there are more than two weeks until the December 22 deadline for Ohtani to sign. Due to his age, Ohtani can only sign a minor league contract and is subject to the global bonus pool.
The teams announced the deals Wednesday night.