Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.
Player To Be Named Later
A Player To Be Named Later (PTBNL) is a mechanism used in a trade when one team would like more time to evaluate the player(s) it will be receiving. The teams may agree on when the PTBNL must be moved, but it can be no longer than six months from the date of the trade. The teams may also agree on an amount of money to transfer in lieu of the PTBNL. The PTBNL must be a minor leaguer and remain in the minors between the time of the trade’s submission to MLB and the transfer of the player.
How It Works:
When two teams are close to a deal, but the sides aren’t quite even, they will often make the deal and add a PTBNL to one side. Oftentimes there is a list of candidates who could be the PTBNL, and the team receiving the PTBNL will select the player they desire or the cash amount agreed upon at the time of the trade. Teams may put stipulations in place regarding the PTBNL if MLB accepts those stipulations, such as which team selects the PTBNL.
Notable Players Who Were PTBNL:
- In 1981 the New York Yankees traded Brad Gulden and $150,000 to the Seattle Mariners for Larry Milbourne and a PTBNL that would end up being Brad Gulden.
- David Ortiz was the PTBNL when the Minnesota Twins traded Dave Hollins to the Seattle Mariners in 1996.
- Marco Scutaro was the PTBNL in 2000 when the Cleveland Indians traded Richie Sexson, Kane Davis, Paul Rigdon, and a PTBNL to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jason Bere, Bob Wickman, and Steve Woodard.
- Coco Crisp was the PTBNL in 2002 when the St. Louis Cardinals traded Luis Garcia and a PTBNL for Chuck Finley from the Cleveland Indians.
- Gio Gonzalez was the PTBNL in 2005 when the Chicago White Sox traded Aaron Rowand, Daniel Haigwood, and a PTBNL to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jim Thome.
- Michael Brantley was the PTBNL in 2008 when the Milwaukee Brewers traded Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, Rob Bryson, and a PTBNL to the Cleveland Indians for C.C. Sabathia. In this deal, Taylor Green was the other option for the PTBNL, but there was a stipulation that if the Brewers made the playoffs then the Indians would choose the PTBNL, but if the Brewers missed the playoffs the Brewers would choose.
Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.
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