Tracking Brian Roberts

Somewhere between truth and fiction lies the-would-be-deal that would send Brian Roberts to the Chicago Cubs. Several reports began to surface on Wednesday morning that Roberts had in fact been traded to the North Side for a package that included Ronny Cedeno, Sean Marshall and Sean Gallagher. Both parties quickly denied those reports as speculation continued throughout the day, from the mainstream media, on what Jim Hendry would have to surrender to Andy MacPhail for Brian Roberts.

Here is the latest from the Roberts’ rumors and the rest from around the league….

Jim Hendry appears to be working on one deal at a time this off-season and the next name on his to-do-list….Brian Roberts. The Cubs are interested in adding Roberts, but at what cost? Several reports surfaced during the day on what the Cubs could have to give up for the All-Star second baseman.

Phil Rogers reported talks between the Cubs and Oriolesare on again” and the deal seemed “likely” to happen. Rogers stated the deal could include the same players as the rumored trade from earlier in the morning and the Cubs originally offered Sean Gallagher and Matt Murton for Roberts during the Winter Meetings….but had to add Sean Marshall to the mix as the value of Roberts has increased. Rogers did state this trade would hurt the possible back end of the Cubs rotation in the upcoming season.

Rogers did go as far as to speculate on what the lineup could look like with the addition of Roberts:

  • Brian Roberts
  • Ryan Theriot
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Kosuke Fukudome
  • Derrek Lee
  • Geovany Soto
  • Felix Pie

Rogers also added the Cubs could be interested in Roberts playing shortstop and could look at him in that position in Mesa. Mark DeRosa would then stay at second with Ryan Theriot becoming the “super-sub“, replacing DeRosa in that role.

Dave Kaplan then reported Wednesday afternoon the “the price is very high” for Roberts. Kaplan said the rumored deal for Roberts would not include Gallagher, Marshall and Cedeno but “bigger names. The Orioles, according to Kaplan, are asking for Rich Hill and several much more highly regarded players that could include Felix Pie, minor league standout outfielder Tyler Colvin, and others.” Kaplan said he was told any deal would not include Rich Hill.

Ken Rosenthal reported late on Wednesday night, the rumored deal between the Orioles and the Mariners that would send Erik Bedard to Seattle was “getting closer” and the two teams are “only one player away from completion.” Several reports have stated Andy MacPhail was looking to trade Bedard before dealing Roberts….this could be the first step in the Cubs possible landing Roberts. The Mariners have reportedly been interested in Bedard for quite some time.

Is Phil Rogers’ right? Is the rumored package too much for Roberts? Or would Roberts be the right addition to take the Cubs to the next level?

The Cubs

Buster Olney thinks the Cubs will be one of the stories to follow in 2008. Olney mentioned Kosuke Fukudome is a perfect fit with the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano should be better in ’08 without the distraction of his contract. Alfonso Soriano should be healthier and the players should be more accustomed to Lou Piniella….in his second year.

Hall of Fame

Congratulations to former Cub, Rich Gossage for being elected into the Hall of Fame. Gossage was the only player voted in by the baseball writers. Andre Dawson received 358 votes (65.9%) and Lee Smith received 235 votes (43.3%). Gossage received 85.8%, 466 votes.

Alan Trammell received 99 votes, 18.2% while Rod Beck received 2 votes and Shawon Dunston received just 1….neither Beck or Dunston will remain on the Hall of Fame ballot in the coming years.

From Around the League

The Brewers are not interested in bringing Jeff Cirillo back according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Apparently Doug Melvin sees Joe Dillon as his replacement.

Speaking of the Brewers….Doug Melvin squashed the rumor he was interested in trading for David DeJesus. But Melvin has spoken with the agent for Kenny Lofton. Also, the Brewers are rumored to be interested in Mike Cameron. If the Brewers sign Cameron, Bill Hall would move to third base and Ryan Braun would shift to left field. The Brewers would have to deal with Cameron’s 25-game suspension at the start of the year….which could benefit the Cubs.

Former Reds reliever, Eddie Guardado could be a Texas Ranger in the near future.

Chris Duffy could miss part of Spring Training according to ESPN. The Pirates see Duffy starting the season in Triple-A while Nyjer Morgan and Nate McLouth are “expected to compete for the starting spot during camp.

Also from the Pirates camp…. Freddy Sanchez does not appear close to signing a long-term deal in Pittsburgh. The Pirates want to see if the team can win and Sanchez does not want to give up his free agency years without enough compensation. The Pirates are confused why more teams are not interested in Xavier Nady.

The Reds are interested in Josh Fogg according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Cardinals have an unusual arbitration case on their hands with Rick Ankiel….Scott Boras once again used his name in the same sentence with Babe Ruth.

The Rockies signed Marcus Giles to a minor league contract on Tuesday. The 1-year deal includes an option for 2009.

Ken Rosenthal reported on Wednesday night the Marlins are interested in signing Luis Gonzalez.

And last, but not least…. Former Cub, Francis Beltran was one of 11 players to sign a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney