For every report that says Brian Roberts will not be traded to the Cubs….there is one that claims there is still a possibility. So which is it? Lou Piniella apparently wants Roberts to be his second baseman or the Cubs were not be pursuing him. Piniella saw first hand, at least fifteen times a year, what kind of player Brian Roberts is and what he could give his team. If Jim Hendry and Andy MacPhail have “discussed” a deal, what, or better yet, who is the holdup?
Bruce Levine indicated over the weekend the deal was done but several reports on Sunday mentioned the deal could still happen. Then came the report from the Baltimore Sun on Monday afternoon. Roch Kubatko asked Andy MacPhail if the reports are true that talks between the Cubs and Orioles are dead, MacPhail responded with, “We haven’t closed any doors.”
Nothing is imminent until it is done, that much was learned last week….but maybe the rumors of this death have been greatly exaggerated. Dave Kaplan talked with Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus on Monday night about all things baseball, and then of course the Cubs. The topic of Brian Roberts quickly surfaced and Carroll thinks Roberts would be a good fit….but only if it means Alfonso Soriano was eventually moved down in the lineup. Carroll said it would complete the Cubs offense and defense and would free up Mark DeRosa to return to the super-utility role….one that he excels in.
Kaplan asked Carroll if he would trade a package that included Tyler Colvin, Sean Gallagher, Sean Marshall and Ronny Cedeno for Roberts and Carroll quickly responded with “yes“. Carroll said Roberts would give Piniella a solid number two to start the year behind Soriano and would give Kosuke Fukudome time to settle into the big leagues. Once Fukudome was able to move into the two-hole, Roberts would become the leadoff hitter and Soriano would drop down in the order. Kaplan said he thinks the price is too high for Roberts but Carroll disagreed.
Carroll said he was not as familiar with Colvin as Kevin Goldstein, but he thinks Tyler is a solid player and a good prospect but he questions where he fits into the future of the team. He said the same about Ronny Cedeno, again a good player, but how does he fit in? Kaplan asked about trading away pitching depth in Marshall and Gallagher and Carroll responded with there are still free agents that can be signed. Carroll views the four players as three prospects that do not fit and one that does.
Kaplan said the Cubs were “laughed at” by the Orioles when they offered just Marshall, Gallagher and Cedeno for Roberts and then they “laughed at” the Orioles when they asked for Rich Hill. He also said a few of his sources told him the Cubs would be “nuts” to trade Tyler Colvin. Kaplan discussed Sean Marshall’s value with a caller and Kaplan responded with, “Marshall does not have great value around the major leagues.” Kaplan said he was much more optimistic a week ago about this trade happening than he was on Monday.
The Baltimore Sun reported, “don’t look for any deals to go down tomorrow (Tuesday). It doesn’t appear that the Orioles are that close to finalizing anything.”
From Around the League
According to the Baltimore Sun on Monday morning, Adam Jones was instructed by the Mariners to leave the Venezuelan Winter Leagues and return home. The Sun found it “pretty interesting” considering he would be a big piece of the trade from Seattle to Baltimore for Erik Bedard. On Monday afternoon, the Sun reported Jones was “cleared to play” on Monday night for Lara. The Sun questioned why he was “pulled from the lineup over the weekend, and why he’s back in it.”
The Braves finalized their deal with the A’s on Monday for Mark Kotsay. The Braves sent Joey Devine and a minor league pitcher for Kotsay and received $5 million of Kotsay’s $7.35 million dollar contract from Oakland.
The Brewers made the Mike Cameron deal official on Monday. Milwaukee will pay Cameron $7 million in 2008 for, at the most, 137 games and the 25-game suspension will cost Cameron $792,350 dollars. Umpbump.com thinks the Cameron signing could be the best of all the free agent centerfielders this off-season.
The Cardinals and Blue Jays also finalized their trade of third basemen on Monday. Scott Rolen was sent to Toronto for Troy Glaus. Both players passed their physicals and Glaus agreed to exercise his player option for 2009 worth $11.5 million dollars.
Finally….Friday was the 35th Anniversary of the designated hitter rule. The American League has been using different rules since 1973 and some feel both leagues should use the DH….just don’t tell Carlos Zambrano.