The Angels on Wednesday acquired $1 million in international bonus pool money from the Minnesota Twins, money they can now offer to Japanese pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani. The 23-year-old has the Angels as one of his seven finalists and met with them earlier this week.
Ohtani opted to come to Major League Baseball this winter, when his possible bonus will be limited to $3.5 million, rather than wait two years for a likely nine-figure payday. So, it's clear that money is not his only concern. But, over the last week, the Angels have now acquired $2.21 million to offer him anyway, desiring to leave no stone unturned.
The cost this time was high, one of the team's top prospects, 19-year-old outfielder Jacob Pearson. In June, the Angels paid the third-round pick a $1-million bonus to forgo a commitment to Louisiana State University.
Also Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners acquired the same amount of money from the Twins for another recent draftee. So, Seattle remains ahead of the Angels in money to offer Ohtani, while the Texas Rangers' available $3.5 million leads all teams. The Dodgers and the three other involved National League teams are limited to offering $300,000.
If Ohtani picks one of the other six clubs, the Angels can deploy the created space on less established international prospects. On Tuesday, they committed $2 million out of their 2018-2019 pool to 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Kevin Maitan, a top prospect relinquished by the Atlanta Braves after MLB violations.
Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter @pedromoura