Pursuing Ohtani, Mariners deal for bonus money


On Wednesday evening, shortly after holding a conference call with local media in preparation for next week's Major League Baseball Winter Meetings where he would not discuss the Japanese phenom, Dipoto made a trade with the Twins to acquire additional global bonus pool dollars to enhance the possible bonus for Ohtani.

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.

Rosenthal notes that the Mariners now have $2.55 million in worldwide slot money while the Angels have $2.315 million. The other four finalists - the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants - are restricted during this worldwide signing period to no more than $300,000 in any individual signing bonus. Because Ohtani is under 25 he is subject to global spending limits, which severely limits his earning power on the free market. Considering the Twins had no chance of acquiring Shohei Ohtani, it's fair to say they did very well in both trades. "It makes us stand out a little bit more in the crowd and puts us in the upper tier of clubs and the bonus they could pay".

The Twins still have around $1.25 million left from their original bonus pool, which maxed out at $5.75 million and included $500,000 acquired from the Washington Nationals in a trade for all-star closer Brandon Kintzler. One might be right, though one or both will also be wrong. 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.

Pearson was Los Angeles' third-round selection this year. Pearson turns 20 next June. He was a fifth-round pick out of Long Beach State.

Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com noted Ohtani and his representatives met with all seven finalists by the conclusion of Tuesday, suggesting either a choice or a narrowing of the field could be the next step.