Sources confirmed Wednesday at the winter meetings that the Cubs are interested in Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts as the speedy left-handed hitter they are seeking to complement potential Japanese league free-agent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome.
Without specifying the targeted players, manager Lou Piniella said he hopes to land a lefty hitter via free agency and one via trade.
Roberts, 30, had a .377 on-base percentage and stole 50 bases last season. He hit .290 with 12 home runs and 57 RBI.
But wanting him and landing him might be two very different things for the Cubs, who would be dealing with former team president Andy MacPhail, who is now running the O's. The Orioles likely would have interest in a package that includes left-hander Sean Marshall.
Roberts, a first-round pick in 1999, has been a favorite of owner Peter Angelos and has been considered a part Baltimore's rebuilding plans.