The Red Sox and Cubs both want to pry Tyson Ross from the Padres. The Red Sox also happen to be interested in acquiring Craig Kimbrel from San Diego, and the Padres hope, among other things, that they find a permanent solution to their shortstop problem in one of their upcoming deals before the deadline. All three teams might now work together, as Buster Olney reports that industry speculation is that the teams are working on a three-way deal together.
FOX Sports' Jon Morosi confirmed that this is more than mere industry speculation. With two hours to go before the deadline, Morosi reiterated that the three-team talks are "very much alive" even after the Cubs acquired Dan Haren from the Marlins.
Let's try to unpack what this could be. It's likely that, in this scenario, the Sox don't get Tyson Ross because the Cubs want him for 2015 and beyond, and might be willing to pay a higher price than Boston in order to secure his services over these last two months of 2015. The Sox would likely get Kimbrel here, though, as it's hard to believe they would be ceding two major, long-term targets to the Cubs without a fantastic reason for doing so.
The Padres reportedly want former top-five prospect Javier Baez from Chicago, and won't get anyone like him from the Red Sox most likely -- Yoan Moncada isn't going anywhere -- so by sending Kimbrel one direction and Ross another, maybe the Cubs get Baez plus whatever the Red Sox can send to fill in the blanks for an overall acceptable return. The Padres of course also have multiple other pieces they could move, such as Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner, James Shields, Justin Upton, Shawn Kelley, Will Venable, and Joaquin Benoit -- many of them rentals the Cubs might be intrigued by.
It's basically impossible to construct precisely what this could be, of to know if it's even actually happening, but there is a lot of sense to be made from this industry speculation. It's also more likely that the industry knows what's up than with the usual talk like this, since Preller has called at least half the league to discuss his movable pieces -- if they think the Sox, Cubs, and Padres could all be working together, they just might be.
It would keep Kimbrel from the Yankees or Astros, and Ross from Houston as well. The Sox wouldn't get everything they wanted, but they also probably wouldn't give up nearly as much. It's something that could work out for all parties, and with just a few hours left before the deadline, is something to keep an eye on.