Angels trade prospect to get more money to pursue Shohei Ohtani

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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 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.

Only the Texas Rangers can offer the 23-year-old two-way phenom more money with $3.535 million available in their worldwide bonus pool.

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Teams interested in signing Ohtani are limited to the amount they have available in their global bonus pools.

The Angels acquired $1 million in global pool space from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for outfielder Jacob Pearson, rated one of their top prospects.

From Seattle, the Twins get catcher David Banuelos. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Long Beach State and signed for a $300,000 bonus. The other four finalists - the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants - are restricted during this global signing period to no more than $300,000 in any individual signing bonus.

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Pearson is the much better prospect between the two, a third-round selection who was given seven figures out of high school and who has a chance to carry a plus hit and speed tool when he's done developing. Banuelos, 21, hit.236 with four home runs in 36 games for the Class A Everett (Wash.) AquaSox after signing in July.

Ohtani's representatives told the Twins on Sunday he would not sign with Minnesota.

The pursuit of Shohei Ohtani isn't really about money, though maybe it is, at least in a relative sense. The Rangers, Cubs and Padres also met with Ohtani on Tuesday.

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It improves the Angels' bonus pool to $2.315 million and the Mariners to $2.55 million.

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