In all of sports, there’s nothing quite like Major League Baseball’s “player to be named later.”
Sure, the National Basketball Association has trades that involve “future considerations,” but those considerations are always in the form of cash, some sort of salary cap exception or a draft pick or two, never a player.
With the non-waiver MLB trade deadline coming up Thursday, you can be almost certain you will see a deal that involves a player to be named later.
But what sort of player is usually the one to be named later. Most often, it’s a minor leaguer.
Of those transactions, 203 of the players who were named later have not or did not play a single game in the major leagues with their new organization.
The most recent deal involving a player to be named later was on July 12, when the Los Angeles Angels traded left-hander Nick Maronde to the Cleveland Indians for … you guessed it … a player to be named later. (per mlb.com)
For this piece, trades were tracked as far back as 1954. So who are the five best players ever to be named later?
That depends on definition, but for the purposes of this exercise, we’ll talk about the player’s value to the organization to acquire him directly as a player to be named later.