Shunned By Ohtani, Twins Get Busy Spending Extra Cash 07 Dec 17

MINNEAPOLIS – The Twins missed out on the chance to sign two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani out of Japan, despite being among the league leaders in available international free agency signing bonus cap space remaining.

After Ohtani narrowed down his list of suitors to 7 clubs that didn’t include the Twins, the next question was what they’d do with that roughly $3.25 million remaining. On Tuesday they got to work spending it.

The Twins made separate trades with the Angels and Mariners — two teams still in the running to sign Ohtani — that netted two prospects in excahnge for $2 million of that international signing bonus money.

They dealt $1 million of the signing bonus alotment to the Angels in exchange for outfielder Jacob Pearson, a third round pick from this year’s draft. Minnesota sent another $1 million of that signing bonus alotment to the Mariners for catcher David Banuelos, a fifth round pick.

Basically, the Twins “bought” a couple of prospects that were taken in the first five rounds of this year’s draft.

Pearson is a 19-year-old outfielder. He was drafted 85th overall, and batted .226/.302/.284 in 40 games in rookie ball. Even in a best case scenario, he’s likely years away from impacting the big league club.

Banuelos is a couple years older and is a catcher. He hit .236/.331/.394 in 36 games in A-ball (short season). He was taken in the fifth round. MLB.com ranked him the 10th best prospect in the Mariners system.