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Duke Welker May Not Be PTBNL in Morneau Trade?

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Terry Ryan clears up a couple points of speculation.

USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press published an article with quotes from Twins General Manager Terry Ryan regarding Duke Welker being the Player to Be Named Later in the Justin Morneau trade. Both the Twins and the Pirates agreed that a player from a specific list would be the PTBNL, but Ryan said that which player it will be has not been specified by Pittsburgh.

"We've got a list and we're going to get one of those players," Ryan said. "Doesn't matter who it is. Doesn't matter how they fare. Doesn't matter what Morneau does. It's going to be (the Pirates') choice, which is OK because we've agreed to the players. I don't care whose choice it is as long as I get one of them."

That clears things up in regards to the terms of the deal, even if it doesn't say anything about the player. There are no performance incentives that would change who the PTBNL would be based on Morneau's production, or on whether or not the Pirates make the playoffs. No matter which player it ends up being off of that list, Ryan will be satisfied because they're all players he's agreed to take on.

It's possible that Welker is on that list of approved players. Could a source from the Pirates have told someone that they were leaning towards making Welker that player? The only other options are that the source was misinformed or that somebody just ran with an unconfirmed rumor.

Whatever the case, the situation has now been re-opened. We'll come back to it when, eventually, the player is confirmed by the Twins.

MoreTwins Trade Morneau to Pirates (Full story stream)