NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers worked on a potential three-team trade throughout most of the day Wednesday. However, a major league source with direct knowledge of the talks told The Sports Xchange that a deal is unlikely to get done before the Winter Meetings end Thursday morning at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort.
"The embers are still hot enough for something to happen," the source said. "It's just a little too complex for it to fall into place too quickly. It's going to need more time if it's going to happen."
The main players in the trade would be outfielder Justin Upton going from the Diamondbacks to the Rangers, rookie left-hander Martin Perez going from the Rangers to the Indians and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera going from the Indians to the Diamondbacks.
The source said other players would be involved, and that was holding up a potential deal.
ESPN reported that the Kansas City Royals might join in as a fourth party to help facilitate the trade.
Upton, 25, hit .280 with 17 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 150 games last season after setting a career high with 31 homers in 2011.
Cabrera, 27, was selected to play in the All-Star Game for a second straight this year as he hit .270 with 16 homers in 143 games.
Perez made his major league debut as a 21-year-old last season and had a 1-4 record with a 5.45 ERA in 12 games, six starts.
If the Rangers acquire Upton, then they would likely end their bid to re-sign free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton. That would leave Hamilton with few options after the Boston Red Sox dropped out of the running Tuesday by agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Shane Victorino on a three-year, $39 million contract.
The door could open for the Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners or Milwaukee Brewers to sign Hamilton, as all have expressed interest.
The Phillies were said to be in talks with the Diamondbacks and Rangers about a three-way trade in which Upton would go to Philadelphia, Cabrera would go to Arizona and Lee would go to Texas.
However, a Phillies source told The Sports Xchange that his team has no desire to trade Lee because Philadelphia is building with Lee and fellow starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels after having their string of five consecutive National League East titles broken last season.