Monday, August 02, 2010


With the MLB trade deadline having come and gone, it's time for "Bitterness" to look at the most traded player in the history of major league baseball. That's right, the ever popular "player to me named later" (PTBNL). Yes the PTBNL has been around, more or less, since the dawn of trading in baseball.

The PTBNL is basically used to postpone the final conditions of an MLB trade. But really the whole thing is just one of many bizarre rules and or regulations that surround the game of baseball.

Now they say the PTBNL allows the team receiving him more time to evaluate their team needs as well the talent level of the potential players they could receive as the PTBNL. But regardless, how discouraging does it have to be, to be a PTBNL? Basically the PTBNL is so insignificant that both teams are already happy with the trade, without him being added for another six months. I mean can you imagine such a thing in the time of the barter system? "I'll give you 6 potatoes for 4 kumquats and a foodstuff to be named later." You'd be liable to lose a hand!

But if just being a PTBNL is not discouraging or weird enough for you, I give you Harry Chiti. In 1962 Chiti was traded to the Mets from the Indians for a PTBNL. In the end that PTBNL was also Chiti. So, Chiti was actually traded, for himself!

But Chiti, was technically on both sides of the PTBNL deal. The PTBNL is usually a minor leaguer, who may or may not already know about his insignificance. But how about the other end of the deal? How important does one feel when they're basically traded, for no one. Well, in Chiti's day that may have seemed like a big "diss", as the kids say? These days, not so much, because it usually means a move to a team with a better chance of winning and it's mostly about the almighty "buck"!

So, it seems that the most discouraging position here is to be the PTBNL. Not many PTBNL's end up amounting to much, but there are a few who go on, to do some things. David Ortiz, Scott Podsednik and Coco Crisp are a few notable PTBNLs that have made nice careers. While they may not be significant before or after they become a PTBNL, they can, at the very least, be colorful and wise.

"I'm the player to be named later."- Crash Davis, Bull Durham

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