Sean Gallagher Rumors
Ah, Brian Roberts. The Cubs' talks with the Orioles have stagnated, though the O's still watched a slimmed-down Sean Gallagher on Sunday. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times still thinks it gets done by Opening Day.
For now I just have a tidbit to add from the esteemed Peter Gammons in Saturday's blog:
The Cubs will eventually get Brian Roberts. Andy MacPhail has to decide whom he wants. But the Cubs are convinced it will happen.
- The Cubs and Orioles continue to be linked in trade speculation involving Brian Roberts. The latest from the Chicago Tribune says that an Orioles scout was in attendance for Sean Gallagher's two hitless innings on Saturday. The amount of time it's taking for these two clubs to get their acts together on this deal continues to be mind-boggling.
- The Trib is also reporting that Jon Lieber took a big step towards earning the fifth spot in the Cubs rotation on Saturday, coming through with four shutout innings against the Diamondbacks. Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis are also in the mix. It figures that the loser(s) of this battle could be trade candidates.
- Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun is reporting that Jay Gibbons looks like a natural pick to be the odd man out in Baltimore's outfield, but the two years and $11.9MM left on his contract-- plus the small matter of an appearance in the Mitchell Report and his upcoming 15-day suspension for violating MLB's drug policy-- means he's not exactly going to be the easiest fourth outfielder in the world to move.
- Speaking of expensive fourth outfielders named in the Mitchell Report, Gary Matthews Jr. insists to the Orange County Register that he's perfectly happy with the Angels decision to bring in Torii Hunter. No, seriously.
SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote on Monday that the Cubs and Orioles had resumed talks for Brian Roberts. However, Cubs GM Jim Hendry came out on Wednesday and said he hadn't had any trade talks for five or six days. Tonight, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec chimes in, confirming Hendry's statement of inactivity.
Zrebiec was able to confirm from two sources that the Cubs offered Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, Donald Veal, and another unknown player for Roberts. The teams can't agree on the fourth player, and the O's may want a fifth too. The Orioles are said to like top Cubs' prospects like Jose Ceda, Felix Pie, and Tyler Colvin. Andy MacPhail is clearly demanding a high price for two years of his second baseman. Zrebiec also confirms that the Cubs and Orioles have talked about a scenario where outspoken veterans Jason Marquis and Jay Payton are in the deal.
For now, it appears that the Cubs will open the season without Roberts. I'm of the opinion the Cubs would be better off going with Mark DeRosa and Cedeno as their doubleplay combo over Roberts and Ryan Theriot.
According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Cubs and Orioles are talking Brian Roberts trade again. A source of Heyman's "indicated discussions were starting to get serious."
Heyman says one scenario has the O's sending Jay Payton along with Roberts to Chicago. Although he'd fill the Cubs' desire for a right-handed hitting fourth outfielder who can handle center, Payton has to have negative trade value with a $5MM salary for '08 and a .668 OPS last year. The Cubs could send Jason Marquis back, but his two years and $19.25MM might be overcompensating for Payton's bad contract.
Heyman names the usual suspects as possible Orioles targets: Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, and Ronny Cedeno. Murton could again be stuck as a fourth outfielder in Baltimore; blocked prospect Eric Patterson might make more sense.
Jeff Zrebiec and Roch Kubatko of the Baltimore Sun are on top of the Brian Roberts rumors. Let's discuss.
The Cubs had two scouts watching Roberts play yesterday, so this thing is still alive and kicking. The Sun gets the impression that the Mark DeRosa heart surgery does add some urgency for the Cubs. Perhaps this means they'll concede a little bit extra on their offer.
The authors reiterate Ronny Cedeno and Sean Gallagher as part of the deal. They say the O's might want Jose Ceda or Donald Veal as the third player, and could ask for a fourth as well. It's been said that the Cubs are unwilling to part with Ceda. We're probably a few weeks from completion but a deal seems plenty possible.
Nothing groundbreaking on the Brian Roberts front, but here's the latest from Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Zrebiec says the O's won't send their scout to watch the Cubs until next week. It's still looking like Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and one or two others. Zrebiec adds:
Both sides remain optimistic that a deal could get done.
This is obviously dragging, but the Orioles have no incentive to rush.
Yesterday, SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote that the Cubs-Orioles Brian Roberts trade talks still have a little life, and the O's are scouting various young Cubs. On Sunday Jim Salisbury said the Orioles only needed to decide which pitchers they want to complete a deal.
Today, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times checks in with the latest. To begin with, Mark DeRosa's heart complications seem under control, and won't force the Cubs' hand.
Wittenmyer adds that the ball is indeed in Baltimore's court, and their scouts will need at least a week to observe various Cubs. He says the Orioles are requesting Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and two more top youngsters. That steep price could cause the Cubs to turn to Coco Crisp or Marlon Byrd. However, neither the Red Sox nor the Rangers seem to value either as a fourth outfielder.
MONDAY: SI.com's Jon Heyman says a Roberts to Chicago trade still has a little life, and the Orioles are scouting Cubs' players. Meanwhile Jason Churchill wrote a few days ago that the O's may require Felix Pie or Tyler Colvin instead of the Cubs' apparent offer of Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Kevin Hart. Churchill says the O's are also high on Eric Patterson.
SUNDAY: Check out this piece by Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's the one-liner that has caught some readers' attention:
Sources say that Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will be traded to the Cubs as soon as the Orioles decide which pitchers they want in return.
All sorts of Cubs pitchers have been rumored in these talks: Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, Jason Marquis, Jose Ceda, Donald Veal. It's been said that the Cubs won't part with Ceda. My best guess is that this deal does get done before Opening Day.
Some owners make headlines by talking to the press or releasing statements. This is best exemplified in New York, where the Steinbrenners aren't strangers to reporters. Some owners, though, like to make headlines in other ways. Take Peter Angelos for example. People know him not because he speaks to the press, but rather because he's always about to kill a certain move -- a free agent signing or a trade. Yes, despite dealing Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada this off-season, Angelos still isn't keen on dishing Brian Robers.
Jon Heyman is hearing that the haul for Roberts might not be enough for Angelos's liking. The reported package includes pitcher Sean Gallagher, outfielder Matt Murton, and infielder Ronny Cedeno. This isn't the first deal for Roberts that Angelos has reportedly killed.
Heyman has an interesting bit on Angelos:
There is also a sense that Angelos has an unreasonable attachment to Roberts, who may well remind the owner of himself: a little guy who's scrapped his way to the top of his profession (no, not baseball; Angelos is at the top of the legal profession, at least in terms of dollars earned).
Of course, there is no way to verify that this is the case. But if Angelos is holding back a possible Roberts deal, he might be doing a disservice to his team. They stand to benefit more in the future from the young talent they'd receive than they would from Roberts, who is 30 this year.
Buster Olney has the latest on the Cubs' talks to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts. According to Olney:
Sources involved in Baltimore's trade talks with Chicago expressed confidence that at some point, the Orioles and Cubs will finish the proposed Brian Roberts deal.
Olney says Sean Gallagher would be the centerpiece of the deal. On February 3rd, ESPN's Jayson Stark said Gallagher or Sean Marshall would be included, but beyond that nothing has been decided.