Mariners acquire 2B Gordon, more money for Ohtani chase

The Seattle Mariners acquired second baseman Dee Gordon from the Miami Marlins on Thursday and added more international slot money for their pursuit of Japanese star Shohei Ohtani.

Seattle sent minor-leaguers Robert Dugger, Nick Neidert and Christopher Torres to Miami.

The Mariners have Robinson Cano at second base and Jean Segura at shortstop, and are planning to have Gordon play center field. That was a platoon position for the Mariners last season with Jarrod Dyson, Leonys Martin and Guillermo Heredia seeing significant time in center.

“We’re going to play Dee in center field,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “It’s a conversation that’s already occurred. We’re very excited about bringing on this kind of athlete. … His athletic ability is obvious to those who watch, but his ability to close ground, and more specifically, his launchability, that first-step burst that Dee gets is on par with the elite center fielders in baseball. We feel like that gives him a chance to be a separator in center field.”

The international slot money is $1 million, according to multiple reports. It is the second move in as many days that Dipoto has made to boost the Mariners’ available money to offer Ohtani. Seattle, which is one of seven finalists for the two-way Japanese star, traded catcher Davis Banuelos to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday for another $1 million in international slot money.

Seattle now has around $3.6 million in international slot money, putting them just ahead of the Texas Rangers, who have $3.5 million available. The Los Angeles Angels also made a trade on Wednesday to increase their international slot money to just shy of $2.3 million.

Gordon, 29, spent the past three seasons with the Marlins, who are going through a cost-cutting exercise under new ownership. A two-time All-Star, Gordon hit .308 with 60 steals and 114 runs scored in 2017. It was a rebound year after he was suspended 80 games in 2016 for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Gordon is owed $37 million in base salary through the 2020 season, and the Mariners hold a $14 million option for the 2021 season. Seattle is reportedly taking on Gordon’s full salary.

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