Three team trades are complicated, but they are done. Here's essentially how this goes down. We'll identify three teams here, team A, team B and team C. Team A and B are the primaries in the trade, team C will be our intermediary.Team A is in playoff contention, they desperately need a closer. But don't have the right players to pull off the trade directly with team B, but has players who are desirable to team C.
Team B is out of contention, has a closer on an expiring contract, they don't want anyone in team A's system enough to trade their closer, but have had their eye on a couple of guys in Team C's system.
Team C is usually out of contention as well, but can sometimes be in contention (it doesn't usually benefit a contending team to do this, but an out of contention team can do well in a trade like this).
So team A will send their players who weren't the right mix for team B to team C, and team C will send their players to team B, who will send the...