No guarantee Cubs can deal for Roberts
Now that the Baltimore Orioles finally have traded pitcher Erik Bedard to Seattle, can a deal that brings second baseman Brian Roberts from Baltimore to the Cubs be far behind?
After weeks of wrangling, Orioles president Andy MacPhail finally moved his prized lefty to the Mariners on Friday.
Getting a Bedard deal done was Job 1 for MacPhail, who would like to move Roberts and continue the Orioles' rebuilding project.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, reached Friday while traveling, chose not to comment on Roberts, as has been his practice.
However, the Cubs are still interested in the switch-hitting Roberts, and Hendry hopes to talk with MacPhail (his former boss with the Cubs) before pitchers and catchers report for spring training next Wednesday.
The Cubs' interest in Roberts goes back at least to baseball's winter meetings in early December, and that fact alone should signal that getting a deal done with the slow-moving Orioles won't be easy.
Contrary to popular belief, knowledgeable Cubs sources say the two teams have not gotten serious about discussing specific players the Orioles would want for Roberts.
It's highly unlikely the Cubs will trade center-field prospect Felix Pie or former top draft pick Tyler Colvin for Roberts. But a package possibly involving pitcher Sean Marshall or Sean Gallagher plus another player seems more in the ballpark.
During the Cubs convention last month, manager Lou Piniella said he didn't believe the Cubs would get Roberts. Piniella also expressed his pleasure with incumbent second baseman Mark DeRosa, who would be moved to a super-utility role if Roberts comes to Chicago.
At this point, Hendry also seems resigned to moving on without Roberts if he and MacPhail can't agree on a deal.