Blog Entry

We don't need Roberts - Orioles can keep him.

Posted on: February 6, 2008 12:22 pm

Here's the latest update I could find:

The News
Erik Bedard is already on his way out of Baltimore, and's Buster Olney reports that, at some point, the Orioles and Cubs will finish the proposed deal for Brian Roberts. Pitcher Sean Gallagher would be the centerpiece of the package, with Felix Pie, Sean Marshall and Ronny Cedeno also being mentioned as possible parts of the trade. 

Okay, let's do a quick review.  Here's what we know:

  1. Brian Roberts is a known steroid user.  His lame excuse of "I tried it once" sounds like "I didn't inhale".
  2. He is over 30, which let's face it, doesn't give him too many good years left in the tank.  More on this in the next point.
  3. His value is solely dependent upon his speed.  This goes for fielding as well. 
  4. We will be giving up important depth and possibly one impact prospect to acquire him.

Let's put this all together now.  I, for one, don't want the cloud of steroid use hanging over the Cubs all season long.  He's a cheater, and could very well be a disruption to the whole organization.  Plus, Mark DeRosa isn't going to be too happy with going back to a utility role, which will only further cause clubhouse disruptions, because from what I understand, he's a pretty well-liked guy.

Counting on a 30 year old player whose value is so wrapped up in his legs is not a good idea.  Everything stems from his speed.  Stolen bases, runs scored, fielding chances, etc.  If he so much as tweaks a hamstring, it will hamper his game significantly.  Tied to this, his 50 SB's last year was an anomaly, which probably isn't going to happen again.  Think 25-30 tops.

And are we willing to sacrifice important depth to acquire one guy?  Sean Gallagher, Ronny Cedeno, Pie, and Marshall are important parts for us this year. 

Right now we are counting on Dempster and Marquis to be our 4 and 5 starters.  Does anybody really think that Dempster pitches a whole season injury-free?  Or that Marquis is effective all year?  Got news for you, neither one is going to happen.  Who do we turn to then?  Jon Lieber?  He has only pitched ONE full season since 2001 and is 37.  And who plays center field if Pie is dealt?  Sam Fuld doesn't exactly get me excited.

This deal doesn't help us enough to outweigh the risk of giving up our depth heading into the season.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2008 9:57 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2008 12:01 pm

We don't need Roberts - Orioles can keep him.

What would Roberts bring to the table that DeRosa is not doing? Roberts stolen bases? Well as long as the Cubs have thumpers in the lineup, Roberts will not be running for more than 25 bases. Soriano,  previously stole bases too. How much will Roberts ruin team unity? Will he fit in with the Cubs? Unless Roberts is dealt cheap. I say leave him in Baltimore.  Bringing on Roberts will only disrupt the team and make a field day for what to do with Soriano. The benefits of Roberts on this team guarantees nothing more than what DeRosa does and can actually hurt them if he pulls a groin  in his 1st week. Sorry, the future is too valuable to give up on for a player who can't drastically improve the team. Tell McFail.. the Cubs farm system is not for sale.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2008 3:35 pm

We don't need Roberts - Orioles can keep him.

Junta, I usually think you're dead on, but I have to disagree with you on this one.

First off in regards to Brian Roberts.  I don't believe his 50 stolen bases to be an anomaly last season.  I think it's a direct result of the fact that last season he got on base more than any other time in his career including career highs in both hits and walks.  He's also capable of hitting 10-20 home runs a year and the big bonus is he is a switch hitter.  He has the reputation of being one of the hardest working guys in baseball.  Yes he has the blemish of the Mitchell Report, but I think there is a general aire of forgiveness and no one denies that the Cubs clubhouse leader is Derrek Lee.  The Cubs have such solid veteran leadership in place, I don't see how any one player would be allowed to become a distraction.

I also think that if the Cubs bring in Roberts, the odd man out will be Ryan Theriot, not Mark DeRosa.  The Cubs would move either DeRosa or Roberts to SS (Roberts position throughout the minors).  If you compare DeRosa to Theriot, Derosa's BA and OBP last year were 30 points higher than Theriot, and DeRosa has more power.  The speed you lose from Theriot is replaced by Roberts, and you need DeRosa's leadership on the field.  I don't believe there is a tremendous difference between DeRosa and Theriot defensively.  Also last season Theriot did see time in the corner outfield positions.  With his speed, it is foreseeable to move him to Center, especially if they trade Pie or Pie doesn't pan out.

I don't think that trading Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall is sacrificing your pitching depth.  They are 2 of 5 players competing for 2 rotation spots.  The Cubs rotation right now has 6 veteran starters, and 2 younger talent.  I also have the utmost of respect for Larry Rothschild as a pitching coach.  If he feels confident enough that Jon Lieber, Jason Marquis and Ryan Dempster can fill in the 4 and 5 starting spots then I think you absolutely have to trade Gallagher and Marshall while they have value.  Gallagher and Marshall are 2 of the Cubs most valuable young arms, but they also have substantial pitching prospects who could be 1-2 years away and the Cubs belive they will get 1-2 years out of Dempster, Marquis and Lieber.  There are also some within the Cubs' camp that believe that Derek Downs or Jeff Samardzija could be ready as soon as late this season to be additions to the rotation.

Ronny Cedeno is not an important part of the Cubs' lineup and I think it is time to part ways with him while he still has trade value. He has  shown he lacks the plate discipline to be an effective hitter at the major league level.  His bat is nowhere near as good as Theriot's or Mike Fontenot who Lou Pinella is high on both.  Cedeno's glove is tremendous, but in the past few years Aramis Ramirez has improved drastically defensively and erased some of the liability you had formerly at the left side of the infield. 

Rumors have it that the Cubs told the Orioles that Felix Pie and Rich Hill are off limits in the deal.  The discussion is leaning more towards Matt Murton in the deal with Gallagher, Marshall and Cedeno, plus one more prospect.  It doesn't make sense for the Orioles to trade for Pie either since they just signed Corey Patterson on Friday to play Center.

Ultimately, if you have the ability to bring in a switch-hitting all star 2B that can strengthen the top of your lineup, you have to make that move.  Not to mention he's signed for the next 2 seasons at 7.2 Mil per which is undervalued for an All-Star.  The Cubs are in win now mode and they have the pieces in place.  They have depth to sacrifice without giving up the farm.    


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or