This is the second time the Mariners have made a move like this to increase their bonus money pool.
Both the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners made trades with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night to increase their worldwide signing bonus pool. Going to the Twins will be catching prospect David Banuelos.
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 worldwide bonus pool dollars to enhance the possible bonus for Ohtani.
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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. His elite throwing arm and excellent blocking skills earned him a spot on the NorthWest League's all-star team and made him one of the Mariners better prospects. The Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Padres are capped at $300,000.
The Mariners and Angels are two of seven finalists for Ohtani's services, trying to land the 23-year-old who was posted Friday by the Nippon Ham Fighters. They were not among the teams invited to meet with Ohtani, so they didn't have as much use for the extra money.
Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because he is not yet 25, but is expected to make millions in endorsements when he signs.