Philadelphia Phillies' Roberto Hernandez Trade Shows Flaws of "Player To Be Named Later"

By Mike Gibson
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A few years ago, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros for a package of players including one “to be named later.”

Later, it was learned that the Phillies either inadvertently or on purpose put Domingo Santana on that list. Several good baseball sources said the Phillies made a “clerical error” by putting Santana on the list, but the Phillies said that he was meant to be on it all along.

When the Phillies traded pitcher Roberto Hernandez on Thursday for “a player to be named later or cash” to the Los Angeles Dodgers you could excuse Phillies fans for cringing. Unless the Dodgers made a “clerical error” by putting  Joc Pederson or Julio Urias on that list, the Phillies are probably going to get fleeced on this deal as well. If it is cash, the Phillies probably will spend it on something like spring training baseballs.

It all illustrates this salient point: Baseball needs to change this “player to be named later” rule. Put all of the cards on the table and be transparent about it. MLB needs to implement a rule that all of the possible players the Phillies or any other team can chose from be released as part of the trade agreement. That way, if the team doing the trading of an established major leaguer for “prospects” fouls up and chooses the wrong prospect, that team becomes accountable to their fans.

Right now, all we know about the Hernandez trade is that the Phillies could have traded a pitcher who has been solid for the past month for a very expensive bag of balls and, while that might seem fine to Dodger fans, it does not do much to engender Phillies fans’ confidence in their own leadership.

Mike Gibson is a Phillies writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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