The Mariners announced that they’ve traded catching prospect David Banuelos to the Twins in exchange for international bonus money. Minnesota has also announced the deal, revealing that they’re sending $1MM of their $3.245MM pool to Seattle in the deal.
For the Mariners, the money added in tonight’s deal will allow them to pad their offer to Shohei Ohtani. Seattle’s international pool now sits at $2.5575MM, which still leaves them shy of the Rangers’ leading pool of $3.535MM but nonetheless allows them to sweeten their offer. Money, of course, isn’t thought to be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing a landing spot for Ohtani, but those of the seven finalists that are allowed to offer him more than $300K unsurprisingly appear to be putting forth their best effort to maximize their spending capacity. The Angels, for instance, are also set to reel in $1MM in bonus money from the Twins in a trade of their own.
The Twins will pick up a prospect that ranked 10th in a weak Mariners farm system, per MLB.com’s organizational rankings. Banuelos, 21, will give the Twins an intriguing prospect at what had been a relatively thin position in the organization. Seattle selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Cal State Long Beach, and he went on to bat .236/.331/.394 with four homers and eight doubles in in short-season Class-A this summer. Banuelos, who threw out 38 percent of would-be base thieves, draws praise from MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo for his plus arm behind the plate and strong plate discipline/on-base skills.