Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Roberts to Cubs; Seattle's Turn?

posted by Jon

There have been reports today that the Cubs are all set to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts from the Baltimore Orioles. I know we throw you off sometimes, but this is in fact a Mariners blog, and this trade could very well impact Seattle.

It has been my belief that the ongoing Baltimore/Chicago trade talks were hindering Seattle's ability to get a deal done with the Orioles. Baltimore obviously wants to move Roberts more, whether it has to do with the recent steroid allegations or anything else. They have already stated that they are in no rush to trade Erik Bedard, and they feel comfortable with him as their Opening Day starter.

With Roberts out of the way, Orioles GM Andy MacPhail can now turn all of his attention to moving his ace southpaw. Don't believe the rumors that the once "imminent" Seattle/Baltimore deal is dead. Obviously Baltimore needed to shift their focus as they were preparing to bring in a different boatload of prospects.

Yes, Adam Jones is back in Lara's lineup, but I think that is less of a factor than some think. A deal was close, so he was pulled out. The deal was put on the backburner, so he was put back in the lineup.

This Cubs/Orioles trade could also impact a potential Seattle deal, for better or worse, depending on what Baltimore gets in return for Roberts. Jon Lieber was signed by the Cubs just before this report came out, making some of Chicago's young starters available, namely Sean Marshall and Sean Gallagher. Could the inclusion of either or both of these pitchers extinguish Baltimore's interest in Brandon Morrow? While you can never have enough young pitching, it would certainly make it easier for them to drop him from the price tag. You could ask the same question regarding the possible (though unlikely) inclusion of stud center fielder Felix Pie, but I think Adam Jones would remain the centerpiece regardless as he is obviously capable of playing one of the corners.

I know many of us would rather send Baltimore Brandon Morrow over some other prospect, but Seattle GM Bill Bavasi may not feel the same. If Morrow is dropped from the deal something could get done sooner than later.

Just read this blurb from the bottom of the aforementioned report:

One baseball insider confirmed through email that the Cubs would like to make another move this off season before pitchers and catchers report. He went on to say that he has not heard anything about a deal being close, but said a deal is likely to go down before the end of the month.

This could obviously be referring to anything, but interesting nonetheless. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if talks were renewed within the next week or so.

Note: Take the Roberts-to-Cubs rumor with a grain of salt. Although this trade has been on the verge of happening for quite some time, there hasn't been a lot of confirming reports out there. We should know within the coming days.

Update (11:55 PM PST) - A new update on the previously linked MLB-Rumors entry seems to contradict the entire reasoning behind this post.

The Daily Herald believes the Orioles would prefer to trade Bedard before Roberts, so we will see what happens.

It's their speculation against mine, we'll see who wins out.

1 comment:

ellis carver said...

All sorts of stuff is flying around Chicago and BMore. Supposedly, as you are probably aware, this deal was reported as done on one Oriole message board (Oriole's Hangout - a great site by the way) early last week. Obviously, it never ended up going through. Today there were reports out of Chicago that the deal was set, with paper work either sent the the MLB offices or ready to go, but Peter Angelos nixed the deal (he LOVES Brian Roberts).

Now this report. I personally hope that there is some truth to it, but according to one poster over at Oriole's Hangout who actually called ESPN 1000 no such report was ever made on their airwaves.

we'll see. The only other thing I can think of that is holding up any potential Roberts and Bedard trades, besides of course the players involved in the trades, is that the O's will need to clear some space on their 40-man to pull these trades off.