While the Miami Marlins remain engaged in talks as they look to shed Giancarlo Staton and his massive contract, their first notable move came Thursday in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, who are among the finalists for Shohei Ohtani.
Seattle received All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon plus international bonus pool money, in exchange for Minor Leaguers Robert Dugger, Nick Neidert and Christopher Torres. Multiple reports indicate the Mariners intend to move Gordon to the outfield, where the Los Angeles Dodgers once tried him.
The trade marks a second for the Mariners in which they’ve received bonus money, which presumably will be used for Ohtani, if they are the club he elects to sign with.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Mariners received $1 million from the Marlins:
Source: as part of the Gordon deal, the Marlins also send $1M in international pool money to the Mariners.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 7, 2017
Combined with the $1 million received from the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, Seattle now has $3.55 million to offer Ohtani. That puts them a hair ahead of the Texas Rangers ($3.53 million), who previously held the edge in bonus pool allotment.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have $2.3 million at their disposal, while the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants are limited to offering a maximum $300,000 signing bonus.
A recent report suggested the Mariners and Padres had emerged as early favorites to sign Ohtani. While the 23-year-old has until 8:59 p.m. PT on Friday, Dec. 22, there’s a belief his decision could come within the next week.