"A player to be named later" in baseball trades

How does that work? Who decides on the player? Can the trading team sign ME as a player and then name ME as the guy? Can they pick the worst guy in the organization?

What if the teams don’t agree? Is the trade reversed?

The Wikipedia article summarized it pretty good.

I’ve always thought that it can also help prevent having to pull a guy from a minor league team if he’s the player to be named later. The minor league season wraps up earlier and MLB rosters also expand in September. No need to pull a guy from a AA team in Springfield just for him to go play for the new club’s AA in Modesto for two weeks.

I love the fact that four guys wound up being their own PTBNL. :slight_smile:

I’ve always loved this:

Costner’s opening line in Bull Durham, of course.

There have been at least four instances of this happening. Harry Chiti was the first and the other three are mentioned there.

Sometimes the compensation decision in a trade is postponed until both teams know how valuable the traded player will be to his new team. If he does nothing, gets hurt, and gets cut, the PTBNL will be a warm body. If he actually helps win a few games, the PTBNL will have to be somebody better. And often a trade will be for “a PTBNL or cash”. Completing those trades is a low-priority bookkeeping matter.

The wikipedia article was somewhat helpful, but let’s take the recent trade for Chris Archer as an example.

The Bucs traded Meadows, Glasnow, and a PTBNL for Chris Archer. So let’s say that next January, the Bucs sign me, Ultravires, 42 year old overweight out of shape has been, and propose that I be the PTBNL. Of course, the other team will reject that proposal and ask that the PTBNL be Gregory Polanco which the Pirates will balk at.

The article suggests that if the teams cannot come to an agreement on the player, they will agree to a sum of cash. Well, what if they can’t agree on that?

I understand the “players being traded for themselves” was more or less a cancellation of the trade because the teams could not come to terms. Has a multi-player trade ever been cancelled in that way?

The amount under discussion would typically not be so high that they’d argue about it. Part of a GM’s job is to get along with the other GM’s, being honest and trustworthy, so it’s possible to make trades. A guy who makes a fuss over something trivial, or hides material facts, is going to be shunned, ineffective, and soon unemployed.

That said, sometimes trades do get nullified, or at least modified, after they’re announced because of an undisclosed or newly-discovered or newly-created medical issue.

Well, that’s usually the case in life. Most landlord/tenant contracts don’t go to court, for example. I was just wondering what would happen in those cases where the sides, despite good faith dealings, could not come to terms. Especially in multi-player deals where it is not so easy just to ship the player back.

Sometimes the two teams agree on several players that will be considered as the PTBNL. Instead of fighting over everyone on the roster, the discussion would be limited to a handful of players - say, ranging from a low prospect to a decent utility player. That way both sides know the high-low range going into the trade.

Surely the greatest player to be named later was David Ortiz?

Ortiz was the PTBNL in a 1996 trade between Seattle and Minnesota. Perhaps most remarkably, after he had a good year in Minnesota in 2002, they simply released him, and Boston picked him up cheap. I doubt many players that good have been essentially given away twice.

Several years later that Minnesota GM was found hanging by the neck from a lamp cord in his hotel room.

I think I understand what you are saying. Does it matter how things panned out with the trade?

In the Archer trade discussed above, is it fair to say that if Archer is lights out, goes 7-0 with a 1.10 ERA down the stretch, that the Rays will want the “high” range player. But if he bombs (and so far, it ain’t looking good Chris) then the parties will agree that the “low” range will be what is fair?

Right, that would be the understanding.

Hey, maybe the Pirates could just trade for Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen.

Number one wish is to trade Hurdle and Huntington for Glasnow and Meadows. If only.

One interesting PTBNL is Mario Guerrero in the Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater trade. Initially it was a straight Cater for Lyle deal. Only Lyle became so dominant and Cater mediocre that Boston Gm Dick O’Connell (according to Yankee employee Marty Appel in his book “Now pitching for the Yankees”) called his Yankee counterpart Lee MacPhail. O’Connell said, look, I am getting heavy criticism from the fans and media in Boston, can you help me out? So MacPhail sent minor league Mario Guerrero, who ended up a serviceable player for 700 games, on June 30 saying “oh, the deal was meant to be a PTBNL all along”. Not according to Appel. GMs in those days were members of a club…help me out now and some day I will return the favor when you need help.