It is the never-ending rumor. For the last three plus months the Cubs have apparently had conversations about acquiring Brian Roberts from the Orioles….this much we think we know. Over the past several weeks as soon as one of the well-respected baseball journalists report talks are heating up again, one side will end up denying the report within 24 hours.
Jayson Stark became the latest to chime in on the Brian Roberts to the Cubs rumors on Monday. In his blog, Stark stated one official that has been in contact with both parties has predicted the long-rumored trade would be completed “in the third week of March.” It has not been 24 hours yet, but while we all await the denial, here is the latest from the mill, including more on Roberts and Crisp…. Randy Bush talked to Bruce Levine on Saturday morning about the state of the Cubs. Bush said he would be surprised if any additions are made to the club before Opening Day and they are likely to go North with the current roster. Bush added he likes the team the way it is currently constructed.
With that out of the way….
Jayson Stark mentioned the names of Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher and at least one more prospect for a likely package of Roberts and Jay Payton. Very similar to the package the Baltimore Sun suggested last week, minus a player from the Cubs….with Jay Payton added into the mix.
Buster Olney thinks the reason the Cubs might be interested in Coco Crisp is because a deal for Roberts would include Felix Pie. The Cubs in turn would have a centerfielder under contract for the next two years. A package from the Cubs that includes Pie and Sean Gallagher, with a “few other parts” as Olney put it, could get the trade done.
Also, Stark was on the Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on Monday morning. Stark did not mention any specifics but did say Matt Murton’s name in the same sentence as the New York Mets….
Roberts Update: In 7 games this spring, .316/.435/.421 with 2 doubles, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts, 9 runs scored and 7 stolen bases (6-for-19). On Monday he walked and stole both 2nd and 3rd….manufactured a run.
These are not minor deals here, these are the ones that can have a huge impact on a team….both on the field and in the clubhouse. If Jim Hendry is still trying to make a deal or deals, he needs to make them fast so the adjustment period does not happen when a winning percentage matters.