As part of the search for Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the Mariners acquired $ 1 million in international Twins slots on Wednesday. Going to the Twins will catch the prospect David Bañuelos. Shortly thereafter, the Angels sent open field prospect Jacob Pearson to the Twins, also for $ 1 million in international slot money.
This is significant because the Mariners and Angels are two ofwho is shaping up as a potential ace on the mound and impactor at the plate, and Ohtani is subject to the strict bonus limits that cover free international agents on July 2. This additional $ 1 million in cap space for both teams now means this …
Given that growing gap , it seems likely that the Mariners, Angels and Rangers are favorites for Ohtani, although it is believed that the Padres are strong contenders despite their bonus limitations. In any case, the Mariners and Angels have been perhaps the most active teams during Ohtani's recruitment, and now, of course, they can make an even more lucrative launch for the 23-year-old free agent.
On the Twins side, Bañuelos, a fifth round of Long Beach State recruited this year, achieved a .725 OPS in 36 games in the Northwest League in 2017. A little more …  David Bañuelos, 21 years old, he was one of the 3 finalists of the Johnny Bench Prize as the best university recipient in the country. Previous winners include Stuart Turner (2013) and Kurt Suzuki (2004). Eliminated 60% of attempts to steal bases by Dirtbags. #mntwins
– Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 7, 2017
Pearson, also a recruit from 2017 – in the third round of a Louisiana high school – spent 40 games in the rookie level of the 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, both are eager to finish the Ohtani derby.