Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto and broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith sat down recently to discuss, via The Wheelhouse Podcast, some of the team's offseason moves. One of which was, of course, the trade with the Cincinnati Reds that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the Emerald City.
In return, Cincinnati received left-handed pitching prospect Brandon Williamson, right-hander Justin Dunn, and outfielder Jake Fraley. In addition, the Reds will also receive the infamous player to be named later (PTBNL).
During the podcast, Dipoto called the PTBNL later a "painful" loss. That seems to sync-up with Reds General Manager Nick Krall's assessment of the player yet to be named as well. While much of fanbase has been unimpressed by the team's return in exchange for two All-Stars, but once the PTBNL is revealed, Reds Country might be singing a different tune.
Who will be the PTBNL in the Reds trade with the Mariners?
For starters, let's define what the player to be named later is. Sometimes, when deals are made, one side knows who they want to trade for, but the other side isn't quite sure who'd they like to receive in return. In this instance, the Seattle Mariners have provided the Cincinnati Reds with a list of players, from which they will receive one.
These types of deals must close within six months, though the two teams may alter those terms if necessary. Typically, team is given a list of five to 10 players, but by the sound of things, it would appear that Dipoto and Krall already know who that player is going to be. So, what's the hold up?
"I would say between Saturday and ultimately making the deal, I think, on Monday, we were able to narrow it down to the names that traded places. Though we still have one more to give, and that'll be a painful one for us. But you understand that that's the price of doing business."- Jerry Dipoto, Mariners GM
The Reds likely want to further evaluate the group of players the two sides agreed upon. It cannot be anyone from Seattle's 40-man roster, so Justus Sheffield, Alberto Rodriguez, and Kyle Lewis are off limits.
From the sound of things, the Cincinnati Reds are likely looking at one of the Seattle Mariners Top 20 prospects. While unlikely to be a player like last year's first-round pick Harry Ford or pitching prospect Emerson Hancock, the M's still have some wildly talented players in their Top 20 according to MLB Pipeline.
While Reds fans would love for the 6-foot-3 shortstop Noelvi Marte to be the player to be named later, that seems like a stretch. However, 17-year-old outfield prospect Lazaro Montes would be an enormous get if the Reds were able to pull that off. Gabriel Gonzalez is another outfield prospect to keep in mind.
If the PTBNL in the recent trade between the Redlegs and the M's is truly going to be a "painful" subtraction from Seattle's farm system, perhaps some of the sting that the Cincinnati faithful felt a couple weeks ago will be lessened. If it's just another run of the mill minor leaguer, then Reds Country will see the trade for what it was; a salary dump.