Mariners acquire $1 million in international slot money from the Twins

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The Mariners announced on Wednesday evening that the club acquired $1 million in international slot money from the Twins in exchange for minor league catcher David Banuelos.

Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani met with representatives from seven different teams, including the Mariners, Padres, Dodgers, Rangers, Giants, Cubs, and Angels. It’s easy to make the connection between tonight’s deal and the Mariners’ interest in Ohtani.

Banuelos, 21, was selected by the Mariners in the fifth round of the 2017 draft. With Low-A Everett, he hit .236/.331/.394 in 146 plate appearances. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 10th-best prospect in Mariners system.

Jon Morosi reports that another unnamed team is on the verge of acquiring international slot money, so it appears things are starting to really heat up on the Ohtani front.

Al Avila on trading Ian Kinsler: “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged.”

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Tigers GM Al Avila said on Tuesday, via’s Jason Beck, that there’s been significant headway made in the quest to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler. He said, “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged. We just can’t agree.”

Kinsler, 35, is in the last year of his contract with the Tigers, earning $10 million for this coming season. In 2017, the veteran batted .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, and 90 runs scored in 613 plate appearances.

It’s not known yet which team (or teams) have gotten far in discussions with the Tigers, but the Angels have been suggested as a good fit given their need for a second baseman.