Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs pursuing Orioles' Roberts

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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.

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I have been thinking about Figgins from Angels, and after looking up the stats, reallized that Figgins and Roberts are essentially the same ( in size, age, stats, and salary ). So I would be thrilled to have Roberts at 2nd and at the top of the order. However, I also read that it will take Hill and Marshall to get him. I wouldn't do it unless it was Marshall and another minor leaguer or two that wasn't a top five prospect. I may over value Hill, but I actually believe that we need more starting pitching, and subtracting both for Roberts would leave our staff very thin.

Well, I guess if hendry traded one of his precious second basemen, infante, then you have to expect him to try and get another, and another and can figgins play 2'nd? maybe the cubs will go after him. you know that soriano was a second baseman too. I think they'd really like 9 or 10 of them, put one at every position. it would be like playing a round of golf with just a 7 iron (try it if your handicap is over 18 you won't lose a thing).

I don't have a major problem with the Cubs picking up Roberts from the O's. The names being thrown around for sending out aren't anyone who is tabbed for any full-time position anyway. Do we need another Patterson in a Cub uniform? No we don't. I would be disappointed in losing Marhsall, but that's what happens in trades. This does a couple of things: DeRosa can play RF full-time (and better than Matt Murton btw), and if Roberts is in the line-up, that means Soriano drops down in the batting order to 4th after Lee. Then you'll start seeing the RBI's pile up. If Fukudome winds up in a Cubs uniform, then you've got your field positions taken care of (yes, Theriot stays at SS, thank you.) Then it's off to take care of the pitching. Hendry doesn't have a TON of work to do this year. And the Sox got...hmm. They resigned Jose Uribe. Wow.

Teams that win build teams with chemistry. Cubs proved in 07 you can throw money on the Ramirez's,Soriano's, Lee's ,Zambrano's etc. etc. but unless they perform in clutch or in playoffs it is just waste of $. Ramirez & Soriano certainly a major let down in playoffs. In Ramirez's case for a guy who lets routine pop ups land on his dome surprise!

I think it is worth exploring a Bedard-Roberts package that would resemble the Marlins-Tigers trade. Hill would have to be part of that as well as another young pitcher (Marshall or Gallagher) and some other prospects including Murton, who is not so much a prospect as he has proved he can hit at the ML level. But they can't really do this unless they know the outcome of the Fukudome derby.

I won't hold my breath waiting on this deal. Every season the O's talk big trade deals and rarely come through. It is not that they do not have the chances to make them, it is always because the owner gets greedy and demands more when he reevaluates the deal.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on December 5, 2007 7:15 PM.

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