The Shohei Ohtani decision may be coming soon and it looks the finalists for his services are doing all they can to sign him.
In an attempt to add to their bid for touted Japanese righthander and slugger Shohei Otani, the Angels dealt one of their top picks in this year's draft for a $1 million in global bonus pool space from the Twins on Wednesday night.
This is significant because the Mariners and Angels are two of seven teams still in the running for Ohtani, 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 global free agents.
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The Twins had hoped to be involved in the Otani bidding, but once they were shut out, they turned around and used their worldwide bonus money to trade for prospects. The Texas Rangers still lead the pack among the Ohtani finalists with $3.5 million.
The Giants, Dodgers, Padres and Cubs can only offer Ohtani a bonus of $300,000 because they exceeded their bonus pool under the previous collective bargaining agreement.
A delegation from the Mariners met with Ohtani on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the offices of Creative Artists Agency. In return for giving up $2 million dollars of that money, they received two highly thought of prospects whom the organization can groom and develop. Pearson is more of a project but he has some serious hitting tools and could be an everyday outfield option if his arm issues disappear.
The Angels and Mariners had to abandon caution and take on risk to make these moves; having an advantage in terms of what kind of money they can offer Ohtani is that important. While there is no timetable for a decision, one can expect it to be made around the winter meetings, which begin on December 10.