Ohtani MLB market: These two trades could swing the race for the Japanese free agent
The Mariners and then the Angels swung deals with the Twins for international slot money
As part of the pursuit of Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the Mariners on Wednesday acquired $1 million in international slot money from the Twins. Going to the Twins will be catching prospect David Banuelos. Shortly thereafter, the Angels sent outfield prospect Jacob Pearson to the Twins, also for $1 million in international slot money.
This is significant because the Mariners and Angels are two of, who profiles as both a potential ace on the mound and impact hitter at the plate, and Ohtani is subject to the strict bonus limits that cover July 2 international free agents. This additional $1 million in cap space for both teams now means this ...
Given that widening gap, it seems likely that the Mariners, Angels and Rangers are the front-runners for Ohtani, although the Padres are thought to be strong contenders despite their bonus limitations. In any event, the Mariners and Angels have been perhaps the most active teams during the Ohtani recruitment, and now they'll of course be able to make an even more lucrative pitch to the 23-year-old prized free agent.
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. A bit more ...
Pearson, also a 2017 draftee -- in the third round out of a Louisiana high school -- spent 40 games in the rookie-level Arizona League. In essence, the Twins added two high draft picks to their 2017 class at a nominal cost.
As for the Mariners and Angels, they're both in for an anxious finish to the Ohtani derby.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Plus the Rays shut out the powerful Yankees and everything else to know about Saturday's MLB...
Kershaw allowed two runs in three innings in his first start back from the disabled list
Several teams could use the future Hall of Fame third baseman
The Brewers now have too many infielders instead of too many outfielders
Senzel entered the season ranked as the game's seventh-best prospect
The Mariners need another starter, but lack prospects and funds