On Monday, the Cincinnati Reds front office dealt a devastating blow to fanbase by trading Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the Seattle Mariners. In return, the M's sent Brandon Williamson, Justin Dunn, and Jake Fraley to the Redlegs.
Included in the deal was also a fourth player; the elusive player to be named later (PTBNL). Oddly enough, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that the PTBNL is one the Reds' brass is very high on and it will enhance Monday's deal. Who might this player to be named later be?
Who is the final piece of the Reds trade with the Mariners?
While a player to be named later is typically not an exciting prospect, it appears that Nick Krall and the Cincinnati Reds front office believe that who it is will help take the sting out of Monday's trade. Brandon Phillips, a fan-favorite among the Cincinnati faithful, was traded in 2006 for a PTBNL. That player was eventually revealed to be Jeff Stevens.
If this player to named later is someone that will enhance the trade with Seattle, you'd have to figure we're talking about a Top 30 prospect or a young major league talent. No, it will not be Julio Rodriguez or Noelvi Marte, so get that thought out of your head.
With what we've seen from the Cincinnati Reds since the lockout ended, you'd have to figure the player is either just beginning his minor league career or major league-ready. The Redlegs have no need for a middle-of-the-road talent.
With that in mind, let's cross off right-handed prospect Levi Stoudt. The former third-round pick is already 24 years old and has yet to be elevated to Triple-A. Fellow right-hander Isaiah Campbell should be crossed off the list as well. There's a lot of mystery surrounding the 24-year-old, as he's only pitched in 19 innings professionally.
Michael Morales is the first player that comes to mind. The right-hander was taken in the third round of last year's draft and has a solid three-pitch mix. The 6-foot-2 hurler pitched just one inning at Seattle's training complex in Arizona, so little is known about how well the 19-year-old will perform against professional competition.
""The player to be named later is also a player we like, so it’s not just a throw-in there. We have a couple of months to be able to scout a group of players before we choose one.""- Nick Krall, Reds GM
Bryce Miller is another one of Seattle's pitching prospects that would be a solid return for Cincinnati. The right-hander was drafted by the M's last season and has a fastball that touches the upper 90s. At once viewed as only a relief pitcher, Miller proved at Texas A&M last season that he can also be a starter.
I'm kind of reading between the lines on this, but what if the player to named later is a former Cincinnati Reds prospect? After all, Krall said, via MLB.com, that the player was not just a throw in and is a player that the organization likes.
What if the player to be named is none other than former Reds prospect Taylor Trammell? I know that's probably pie-in-the-sky thinking, but it's not as if Trammell has lit the world on fire since debuting for the Mariners.
Furthermore, the Seattle outfield now consists of Taylor Trammell, Jesse Winker, Jarred Kalenic, Mitch Haniger, and Kyle Lewis. That looks a bit crowded from where I'm sitting. But the Reds could certainly use an athletic centerfielder like Trammell. A move like that would allow Cincinnati to move former first-round pick Nick Senzel back to third base.
Who knows who the player to be named later will be? Who knows when later will be? Hopefully, if the Cincinnati Reds have narrowed their field of players, they know who they'd like to take in the coming days. Stay tuned, Reds fans.