The Red Sox and Blue Jays are having super-secret negotiations to determine what compensation would head to Canada in return for John Farrell.
Who will the Red Sox give up? Let's review some recent history and try to figure it out.
2012: Theo Epstein compensation case
Epstein bolted the Red Sox for the Cubs last October. After months of discussions, the teams finally agreed on a deal in spring training. The Red Sox obtained RHPs Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz from the Cubs.
To make it a real baseball deal, the Sox sent a player to be named later to the Cubs. That proved to be 1B Jair Bogaerts, a non-prospect. The Cubs released him after a few months.
Carpenter was a 26-year-old former third-round draft pick with 10 games of major league experience at the time of compensation. He was rated the team's 13th-best prospect by Baseball America. Kurcz was a reliever in High Single A with some upside.
2011: Ozzie Guillen compensation case
The Miami Marlins sent the Chicago White Sox two players for their manager: Double A reliever Jhan Marinez and Triple A shortstop Ozzie Martinez. To make it a real trade, the White Sox received RHP Ricardo Ambres, a rookie league prospect.
Marinez was considered a strong prospect for the Marlins before the 2011 season, then had a down year. Martinez was the fifth-ranked prospect in the organization per Baseball America. He had 34 games of major league experience.
(Note: The Marlins do not have a particularly strong farm system. The No. 5 prospect in their system would not be in the top 10 of the Red Sox system.)
Ozzie Guillen was a successful manager for the White Sox, going 678-617 (.524) with a World Series title in eight years. He had a year left on his deal and wanted to leave.
Epstein was with the Red Sox for a decade and helped build two World Series champions. He had a year left on his deal and also wanted to leave.
Farrell is 154-170 (.475) in two years with Toronto and has a year left on his contract. He also wants to leave. But unlike Guillen and Epstein, he does not have the same value.
The difference is that the Blue Jays and Sox are division rivals. That could improve the quality of the compensation.
The compensation for Farrell will be a pitcher on the cusp of being helpful to the big league team and a Double A prospect. The Red Sox will get a non-prospect in return to make it a real trade.
A few guesses
The Red Sox could part with the aforementioned Chris Carpenter or somebody like RHP Clayton Mortensen, RHP Alex Wilson, or RHP Zach Stewart.
The second piece of the puzzle would be somebody like OF Juan Carlos Linares, 3B Kolbrin Vitek, INF Ivan DeJesus Jr., or maybe even OF Che-Hsuan Lin, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday.
My guess -- and this is just a guess -- is that we'll get an announcement on a deal before too long.