BALTIMORE -- He has become the Indians' mystery man, and the details surrounding his eventual arrival to the organization are getting more and more mysterious, too. The Indians still have not announced the player to be named that is due to arrive as the final component of the trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers on July 7. The reason, according to a recent report in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, is that the player's selection is contingent upon whether or not the Brewers make the playoffs. According to the report, if the Brewers reach the postseason, the Indians choose the player; if the Brewers don't make it, they choose.
If that sounds like a bizarre arrangement, it's because it is. Generally speaking, the player to be named in a trade comes from a list preapproved by both clubs at the time of the deal, with the club acquiring the player making its choice by a certain deadline. Tribe general manager Mark Shapiro would not confirm or deny the report. "We have until the end of the season [to acquire the player]," Shapiro said. At the time of the trade, Shapiro said the player to be named was considered the second-most prominent key to the deal, behind highly touted prospect Matt LaPorta, who is now with Double-A Akron. Shapiro said the Indians were choosing between two players, and he made no mention of the player being contingent on the Brewers' playoff presence. It has long been believed and reported that the player to be named will be one of two players -- either outfielder Michael Brantley, who played at Double-A Huntsville this season, or third baseman Taylor Green, who was with Class A Brevard County. The Tribe's scouting of both players was hampered by injuries they suffered this season. Brantley, who batted .319 with 17 doubles, two triples, four homers and 40 RBIs, missed most of July with an ankle sprain. Green, who hit .289 with 19 doubles, 15 homers and 73 RBIs, was hit in the hand by a pitch on Aug. 12 and didn't play another game. Neither player's club reached the postseason, and neither was called up to the Brewers for the September stretch run.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.