Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks talking three-team trade

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Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported earlier that the Reds were trying to acquire outfielder Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians, with Drew Stubbs and infield prospect Didi Gregorius heading to Cleveland in return. But that deal has since grown a bit larger.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, on the table now is a three-team blockbuster that would send Choo to Cincinnati along with infielder Jason Donald, Stubbs and a young Diamondbacks starting pitcher to the Indians, and Gregorius to the Snakes.

Patrick Corbin, Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs are the Arizona pitchers that are currently being discussed. Rosenthal thinks the D’Backs are least likely to want to move Skaggs and Bauer is a pretty highly-rated prospect, so we’d guess it’s going to be Corbin.

It’s not a sure thing that there will be a resolution to these discussions before the end of the night.

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UPDATE, 8:11 PM: Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona says the Diamondbacks will get more than just Gregorius and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer hears that nine total players could be involved.

UPDATE, 8:52 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the part of the trade sending Choo and Donald to the Reds has been agreed upon, but also that there’s “a lot more” coming. So stay tuned.

UPDATE, 9:02 PM: According to MLB.com beat writer Steve Gilbert, the Diamondbacks and Indians have not yet finalized their end of the three-team swap. But the expectation is that they will soon.

UPDATE, 9:07 PM: Rosenthal reports that pitchers Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers will go from Arizona to Cleveland. Asdrubal Cabrera could wind up with the Diamondbacks. Gregorius seems headed to the Tribe.

UPDATE, 9:10 PM: The Indians are getting Bauer from the Diamondbacks, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. We’ll put up a fresh post when all the names and destinations are revealed.

UPDATE, 9:13 PM: Rosenthal now clarifies that Cabrera is not involved. Gregorius will go to Arizona.

UPDATE, 9:15 PM: Gilbert says the Diamondbacks are getting left-hander Tony Sipp and outfielder Lars Anderson from the Indians. Lots of moving parts here, folks. We’ll try to clarify it all soon.

UPDATE, 9:26 PM: All sides have agreed to the three-team, nine-player trade. Head HERE for more.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?