PTBNLs. 42 comments


A player to be named later went each way in the deal with the Cubs for Drew Smyly. Usually, the only time you will ever hear that player’s name is when he is finally announced. It’s a procedural thing. Paperwork. The guy’s name is logged in, he is sent to the low minors, and you never hear about him again.

But there have been a few players-to-be-named later that actually turned into something later. Here are some of the better players that were throwaways in deals at the time, under the radar prospects, with no expectations.

David Ortiz was a PTBNL when Seattle traded him to Minnesota for Dave Hollins in 1996. It wasn’t until he signed as a free agent with Boston before the 2004 season that David Ortiz became David Ortiz.

When the Indians traded C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers, a player to be named later was part of the deal. When trying to work out exactly who that player would be, then-Brewers GM Bob Melvin made a deal with the Indians GM Chris Antonetti. If C.C. Sabathia helped Milwaukeed get to the playoffs, the Antonetti could pick the player he wanted. If they didn’t make the playoffs, Melvin would pick. They made the playoffs. Antonetti picked Michael Brantley.

The Cardinals traded minor league pitcher Luis Garcia to the Indians for left-handed pitcher Chuck Finley.  A few weeks later they completed the deal with the player to be named later, Coco Crisp, who ended up with a pretty good 15-year career.

When the White Sox dealt Aaron Rowland to the Phillies for Jim Thome, they threw in Gio Gonzalez. Not long after, he was traded back to the White Sox, who then dealt him to Oakland, where his career took off.

Trying to bolster its already strong rotation for another World Series run, the Braves traded with the Pirates for starter Denny Neagle. Part of the deal was a PTBNL from Atlanta. A few days later, the Pirates plucked Jason Schmidt from Atlanta’s roster. He was good with the Pirates, but really rocketed to All-Star-caliber when he went to the Giants later in free agency.

In 1909 the Philadelphia Athletics traded $6000 and a PTBNL to Cleveland. That guy turned out to be Shoeless Joe Jackson, who hit .387 in limited action his first season with Cleveland, then .408 in his first full season. He ended up with a lifetime batter average of .356.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Kinsler picked up another Gold glove..no Rangers.

    • CrazyEd

      Kinsler evidently has something that a few fans don’t see. Yeah, I know he has a lousy personality. I was referring to baseball skills.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Thought he deserved his first one not this one. He was extremely good at pivoting on the DP

        • Gregor_S

          Also has excellent range.

          Gold Gloves are often awarded as much on reputation as on performance. For voters who don’t see the guy much that’s mostly what they have to go on because the stats for defense are less reliable than for other aspects. So when someone has been as bad as Rougie was for so long, it usually takes more than one good year to erase that impression.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Yep….and Roogie and Altuve missed time….but Kins got postponed sometimes

          • JacobMcCandles

            Platooned

          • Gregor_S

            Well Kinsler also did get postponed. He probably deserved a GG or two with the Rangers but didn’t get one until he got to Detroit. (He also had a couple of error-prone years with the Rangers towards the end, but he always had the range and the ability to turn the DP.) So in a way this year’s win kind of balances things out.

            I think the reputation factor is why some guys win the GG almost every year. Mays and Clemente each won 12 or more I think. May be less common today with online videos and stats that are a little better.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Palmeiro won after playing like 30 games…..My Dad said it was kind of a joke that Sandberg won so many cuz he played all the home games on grass vs guys playing on Art terf

          • Gregor_S

            Well the ball moves faster on turf but it also takes a truer bounce so I’m not sure how it washes out. Probably turf is easier because it’s not as though there are that many bad hops on grass.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Yes if the field is in bad shape, but I watched a lot of games at Wrigley and it’s pretty true

          • Gregor_S

            Right. Meant to say turf is harder, not easier. The speed of the ball is a factor on every ground ball.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Agree

  • GoRangers23

    Good one Kevin.

  • GoRangers23

    They are announcing our new manager live right now if anyone wants to watch.

  • GoRangers23

    JD says he has “ minimum ego”. Whatever that means.

  • GoRangers23

    Chris has a very shiny head. 🙂. Whoever put the camera at that angle……you had ONE job.🤨

  • GoRangers23

    He’s wearing a plaid suit with a polka dotted tie, but I have to say that his outfit looks like a huge step up from Banny. 😁

  • CrazyEd

    I didn’t watch the presser, but have been doing so scouting around and from what I have found he’s a pretty high energy guy that’s not afraid to show his excitement for the game. A lot like Wash was. I hope that doesn’t change with the new position. If he needs an endorsement, he got one from Michael Young who said he was a “good one.”

  • GoRangers23

    He’s a pretty good friend of Michael Young. They lived a few houses from each other when they were younger.

  • GoRangers23

    JD patted him on the knee and said, “awesome “ when it was over. 😄

  • Gregor_S

    Very articulate guy. Not happy about that. Means when he makes decisions I don’t like I can’t say he’s an idiot.

    Funny how when JD hired Banister he wanted Hurdle and when he was unavailable he took the guy Hurdle recommended. Now his first choice was probably Michael Young who was unavailable so he took the guy MY recommended. I get the sense this will turn out better though.

    • CrazyEd

      Hopefully, being articulate, the post game managers interviews won’t be quite as painful as they have been in the past.

      • Gregor_S

        True. But Banny had the saving grace that you often couldn’t figure out what he was trying to say. Woodward won’t have that advantage.

    • GoRangers23

      Based on what I’ve seen so far, I like they guy. Let’s hope he can accomplish what he sets out to do.

      • Gregor_S

        He did come across as likable. Really couldn’t have a made a much better impression in any respect I thought. Well, maybe he could’ve said he wants to let starters go longer and to emphasize small ball more. But then he would never have been hired in today’s baseball world.

  • Nathan Whitten

    Interesting article. I always assumed that PTBNL would be some insignificant minor leaguer. You’ve pointed outs times when that was not the case. I can’t recall who it was, but I recall some times when PTBNL was anything but a low-level minor league player.

    New manager seems like he might work out. We’ll see about that.

    I can’t believe that punk Kinsler won the Gold Glove over Rougie. Old Rougie would never have been nominated. New Rougie was worthy of the award. Kinsler wasn’t. Defensive metrics had Rougie as being far better in the field. He’s better at the plate, too—but that is not a consideration for this award. Let’s hope our guy keeps on improving. He’ll be pushing Altuve if he does.

    • CrazyEd

      There must be something in Kinsler that the awards committee sees that fans don’t because it’s his second gold glove. He does have an attitude problem, but like hitting, doesn’t factor into the award.

    • dearmidol

      Let’s not forget Rafael Palmeiro won a gold glove at first in 1999. He played 28 games at first that season and 148 at DH.

      • Nathan Whitten

        Under those terms, I feel that it was wrong to give Palmeiro the award that year. I believe that he had already established himself as a very good defensive 1B, which is why he won an award he did not deserve.
        On the other hand, Kinsler does not carry that same reputation. I cannot see how he was given the award this year. He does not have the kind of background that Palmeiro had. He has never been considered as an elite 2B. He was a good one for the Rangers, which is still where he played the best. Since he left Texas on bad terms and then really criticized the Rangers’ FO, I doubt that folks involved with the Rangers pushed hard for him to be selected.

  • GoRangers23

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vD8eld-IYIU
    I am hoping that this will be the entire news conference that introduces Chris Woodward as the Rangers new manager.

    • GoRangers23

      The entire conference isn’t there because they took out the question and answer part of it.

      • dearmidol

        Thanks for posting.

  • GoRangers23

    This page contains some, if not all, of the questions that were asked. Scroll down.
    https://www.foxsports.com/southwest/video/1362224195718

  • CrazyEd

    Back to PTBNL, obtained as final part of Keone Kela trade. Hard telling from this, as the evaluation is based on the Instructional League which is exactly what it says it is. You get instructed on one or two weak parts of your game. But I like the kid just because of his name. Whats not to like about Sherten Apostel?
    https://2080baseball.com/spotlight/sherten-apostel/

  • CrazyEd

    Strange … The Ranger’s new AAA club is the Nashville Sounds. The Ranger’s have a new manager Chris Woodward. Woodward just happend to play for the Sounds in 2008. What does that mean? Nothing.

  • CrazyEd

    Why? No special reason other than I like it. Grab a beverage of choice, turn on your speakers, kick back, and have four minutes of enjoyment.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfKdOjJPWsI

  • CrazyEd

    Wake up call! Pay attention to detail, dummy! I totally missed this because I had been scanning the right side of the page for Texas players. For some reason they had this guy listed as a Houston player. He ain’t.

    “Scott Heineman is hitting .308/.361/.477 through 18G for Escogido in the Dominican Republic. TEX oughta add this dude to the 40-man purrrty soon.” (stole off twitter, but confirmed)

    To me he should have been on the 40 already. He’s hit .300 at every level, has speed, a decent arm and plays all three outfield positions. CF primarily.

    Just guessing, but there must be something the Rangers don’t like about him.

    • dearmidol

      From what I’ve read they love the guy. He should be the center fielder soon.

      • Rowdy Yates

        Yep … will be nice to have a real center fielder again for the 1st time in several yrs.

        • dearmidol

          Center field is an area of strength in the farm system. But, as you know, it’s a crap shoot.

  • Rowdy Yates

    I miss the ballplayer nicknames from my younger days. Shoeless Joe Jackson. How can you beat that? Seems like yesterday and I was only a wee sprite when he was running around in the White Sox outfield in the 19 teens.

    • dearmidol

      That’s a great idea. I will do a post soon about the best baseball nicknames. Some really great ones.