Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Roberts rumors simply more Internet madness

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Further evidence that anyone with a blog or "a source'' can be dangerous was offered again over the last week. And no, not just the fact that some fading Internet company hired a certain unemployed former No. 2 columnist from the Sun-Times.
A report from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network had Sox general manager Ken Williams once again contacting the Baltimore Orioles about acquiring second baseman/leadoff hitter Brian Roberts. According to the story, this time it was for Gavin Floyd.
One problem: Williams sent word out this week that he had not spoken to anyone from the Orioles since November.
The other problem, trading Floyd at this point would go against everything Williams has tried accomplishing the last few years - specifically, stockpiling major-league ready young arms.
Williams did admit to the Sun-Times in May that he inquired about Roberts and the asking price at that time was Alexei Ramirez, Josh Fields and either John Danks or Floyd. He obviously said no thanks.

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The white sox need relief pitching, and another good starter. Pitching especially relief pitching really hurt the sox big time last season. How about getting some pitchers...

Aaah please allow me to do a little interpreting of what Kenny has said and of these rumors. First of all it is possible that Rick Hahn the Sox's Assistant GM not Kenny has recently talked to the O's about Roberts. I think this is most likely as Roberts is a perfect fit for the Sox biggest need and Roberts appears to want out of Baltimore into a contender so these two teams should be talking.

I consider Cowley and Bruce Levine to have the best inside contacts for baseball in chitown. Levine started the Dye to Rangers rumor which on circumstantial evidence has substance because JD and the Rangers Manager Ron Washington are buddies and I can see Washington wanting to add a veteran with WS experience to his talented lineup none of whom has won a thing. So this rumor should be taken seriously. Kenny denies this rumor as well but is probably doing damage control so as not to upset Jermaine in an attempt to avoid it affecting his play if he does not get traded as trade rumors did affect JD's performance before he signed an extension.

The Sox are in dire need of a true leadoff man like Roberts and could really use another proven starter to balance the youth in the rotation. Kenny is probably waiting to see what the market price is for Garland before entering negotiations to sign him. Terry Boers WSCR said on the air about two months ago that his sources in the white sox org told him that they would try to sign Garland. Signing Garland would be a good thing as his sinker plays well in the homer happy Cell and he fits like a glove into the sox clubhouse regardless of whether he has annoyed Ozzie here and there. He has World Series winner credentials and that will also play well with the young guys on the staff. He and Buehrle are tight not to mention Gar's good relationships with other Sox players. This will also help the team chemistry and Kenny and Ozzie know this and value this.

The Sox will be competitive in 2009 but once Beckham and Viciedo become major league ready and play along side Quentin and Ramirez then this team will be feared once again.

What the Sox really should get in any Dye deal is firecracker leadoff man who is content to hit singles and runs like the wind. OF Gorkys Hernandez of the Braves, OF Julio Bourbon and 2B Jose Vallejo of the Rangers fit this profile.

I am guessing Kenny is waiting to see if he can land Garland for a reasonable price or if he can pry a starter for Dye as his next move. The smell blood in the water shark GM's of the Orioles and Rangers of course first ask respectively for Floyd and Poreda as counter offers to see how desperate Kenny is to acquire their guy. Trader Kenny certainly has no intention of letting these guys go unless he gets lots in return like he did with the McCarthy for Danks and Nick Masset trade he made with the Rangers.

Getting Roberts would be the perfect move for the Sox and hopefully Andy the Clown McPhail will get somewhat reasonable in his asking price for Roberts. This should happen if Roberts really decides he wants to play for a WS contender rather than the rebuilding O's and Andy gets the message.

The thing is if the Sox can both acquire Roberts and one of these speedy AA hotshots then the White Sox fills its biggest hole for the present and future. The problem is that Kenny has been obsessed with getting affordable pitching and tried to band aid the need for speed on his team. That has put him and the Sox in the leadoff hole so to speak. If the 2010, 2011 Sox teams have a top notch base stealer or two who knows how to get on base then this team is really going to sizzle. They have youth and talent in the OF, INF and most importantly pitching. Kenny's team is definitely going to make a lot of noise in the near future and maybe in 2009 as well.

"Further evidence that anyone with a blog or "a source'' can be dangerous was offered again over the last week."

This rumor originated with Roch Kubatko of MASN Online. He previously wrote for the Baltimore Sun. He has as much credibility as any Sun-Times reporter.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on January 6, 2009 12:01 PM.

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