When the Angels placed outfielder Torii Hunter on baseball's restricted list, it focused attention on a rarely used vehicle available to clubs in the major leagues.

Unlike the more commonly used disabled list, which is used for injuries and requires a player to sit out a specified minimum number of days, the restricted list offers the broadest and most flexible option for a team and player.

"It's meant to be a convenience for both the club and the player — the club not to play short-handed and the player to tend to his circumstances," MLB spokesman Mike Teevan said.