Player to be named later
The "player to be named later" (PTBNL) is generally used to postpone a trade's final conditions or terms. This is often done for two reasons. First, the team receiving the PTBNL might not be certain which position they want to fill, so this type of deal gives them more time to figure it out. Second, this type of arrangement gives the team receiving the PTBNL more time to evaluate the available talent on the other team. The deal must close within six months of the conclusion of the rest of the trade.
When a PTBNL transaction occurs, the negotiating teams usually agree on a list of five to 10 players that the PTBNL will ultimately be chosen from. If the teams can't agree on who the player will be, then they will agree on a price to be paid instead of a player.
The acronym PTBNL is widely used by bloggers and on Twitter, though it is rarely found in newspapers, nor is it generally used by broadcast media. Its use is termed "rare." 
Notable PTBNLs 
On December 2, 2004, John McDonald was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Detroit Tigers for a PTBNL. The player to be named later turned out to be Tom Mastny, who was assigned by Toronto to Detroit on December 14, 2004. McDonald was subsequently re-acquired by Toronto on July 22, 2005, then returned to the Tigers in a cash transaction on November 10 of that same year, but was not a player to be named later in either transaction.
Because players must change leagues, generally minor leaguers are chosen, and thus very few PTBNLs are of known star quality at the time of trade. However, some minor league PTBNLs who have turned out to be productive in the majors include Michael Brantley, Jeremy Bonderman, Scott Podsednik, Coco Crisp, Moisés Alou, Jason Schmidt, and David Ortiz.
The practice of making trades to be completed later has also led to some absurd results. One notable example came as a result of the 1994 strike. Days earlier, the Minnesota Twins had agreed to trade Dave Winfield to the Cleveland Indians for a PTBNL. The agreement included restrictions on the possible players based on how many subsequent games the Indians played with Winfield that season. Since the season was cancelled before any more games could be played, Cleveland paid Minnesota a token sum of $100, and the Indians' general manager took the Twins' general manager out to dinner.
In popular culture 
In other sports 
In the National Hockey League, future considerations work in a similar fashion to PTBNLs, except that, because the NHL allows teams to trade draft picks, but does not allow teams to trade players or draft picks for cash, draft picks can be traded instead of cash.
See also 
- Derfner, Jeremy (August 3, 2000). "What Is a Player To Be Named Later?". Slate. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
- Keegan, Tom (September 11, 1994). "Owners try on global thinking cap". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 7, 2012.