Tuesday, July 08, 2008

PTBNL

There is some talk in the Cubbie-sphere the J.J. Hardy may be the player to be named later in the Sabathia trade. White Sox play-by-play man Steve Stone first mentioned this as a possibility a few days ago. I actually heard this on the radio and I think he was hypothesizing more than reporting, but this speculation raises an interesting question: Can a current Major League player be a player to be named later?

Yes. There are two rules that govern PTBNL trades:

1. The trade must close within 6 months of the agreement, and

2. The player must change leagues.

The second condition is the reason that minor league players are usually involved, however, since the Brewers are in the National League and the Indians are in the American League, it is at least possible that J.J. Hardy is the player to be named later.

Stone based this hypothesis on the progress of Escobar, which would make Hardy expendable. I suspect he is wrong about this, as that seems like a very high price indeed, but it is worth mentioning.

UPDATE:

From the Sons of Sam Horn Wiki:

Player to be Named Later
In many trades, one or both of the teams may agree to send "a player to be named later". A specific player must be agreed upon within six months of the initial trade; if this does not occur, the two teams may agree upon a cash amount to be sent instead. Often, the teams will agree to a list of players who can be used as the PTBNL; such an agreement would happen before the trade has been announced, and once the trade is final, the team receiving the PTBNL may take any of the players from the list within six months.

If a team receives a PTBNL, the player must not have been playing in the league to which he is being sent at the time of the trade (e.g. if the Red Sox receive a PTBNL, the player may not have been playing in the American League at the time of the trade). This rule was instituted after Harry Chiti was traded for himself in 1962 (he was traded from the Indians to the Mets for a PTBNL, which turned out to be himself). As a result, PTBNL's are usually minor leaguers. Sometimes, teams will use players on the disabled list as players to be named so as to avoid having to get special permission from the commissioner's office.

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