Great Moments In Brian-Roberts-To-Cubs-Trade-Rumor History
"The first test of Andy MacPhail's authority as Orioles president of baseball operations will come if a rival club makes a strong push to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts.
"A year ago, Orioles owner Peter Angelos refused to allow his previous front office to trade Roberts...Orioles executives, however, say privately that they are not under orders to keep Roberts.
"The Mets and Astros were among the teams that showed interest in Roberts before signing free-agent second basemen Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, respectively.
"The next team to take a run at Roberts could be the Cubs, who failed to land Matsui."
-- FoxSports.com, 12/3/07
"The Cubs and Baltimore Orioles have talked about a possible deal for switch-hitting second baseman Brian Roberts, who could move into the No. 2 spot in the lineup and provide some much needed speed. Reports that the Cubs were trading Rich Hill to the Orioles for Roberts were denied by team officials.
"'Anybody who can hit left-handed and run and play the middle of the infield, we would certainly still look into,' Hendry said."
-- Cubs.com, 12/6/07
"On hold over much of the last month, the Brian Roberts talks are on again between the Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. This deal almost certainly is going to happen--the only question is when and how much it's going to cost the Cubs."
-- Chicago Tribune, 1/10/08
"Are the Cubs still pursuing Brian Roberts or were they scared off by the steroids? He is exactly what they need to make a strong challenge (apart from a center fielder who can hit). Roberts can lead off, steal, hit for average and field. They should have enough pitchers to make the deal happen." . . . Dan W., Naples, Fla.
"The Cubs and Orioles are still talking, but some of the players mentioned recently are not involved, so don't believe the rumors. Keep in mind that Roberts is a favorite of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who blocked a trade last year that involved the second baseman. The Mitchell Report revelations are not the holdup--it's just a matter of finding the right match for both teams, and the reports out of Baltimore are that Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail has very specific requests."
-- Cubs.com, 1/14/08
"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."
-- Daily Herald, 2/8/08
"There is now a feeling in Orioles land that Angelos may be balking at the negotiated haul for Roberts, which according to sources, is a very fair three-player package of young pitcher Sean Gallagher, outfielder Matt Murton and infielder Ronny Cedeno. 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)."
-- si.com, 2/11/08
"MacPhail said more than one team has shown interest in trading for Roberts, though the Cubs are believed to be the most aggressive suitor. Roberts called the Cubs 'a great organization' and said Chicago would be a fun place to play. Roberts attended a 2003 National League Championship Series game between the Cubs and Florida Marlins as a guest of former teammate Jeff Conine and said he was amazed at the electric atmosphere at Wrigley Field."
-- Baltimore Sun, 2/20/08
MESA, Ariz. - The Cubs still hope to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts and an outfielder before the end of spring training, but general manager Jim Hendry shot down Internet and radio rumors that a trade is imminent.
"There have been no active talks in any trade situation in the last five or six days," Hendry said.
-- Chicago Tribune, 3/5/08
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Orioles and Chicago Cubs have not had any recent discussions about All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts, pushing the potential deal toward Opening Day or beyond.
The talks have stalled while scouts from the teams evaluate players on each other's roster. The Cubs, who are looking for a leadoff hitter to set up the middle of their lineup, have had at least one scout at every game Roberts has played this spring. Dave Engle, one of the Orioles' top scouts, went to Mesa, Ariz., to observe several of the Cubs' prospects.
"Our scouts are out and about doing their due diligence and watching the teams that they should be watching," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said.
Asked whether he feels compelled to make a decision on the status of Roberts by a certain date, MacPhail said, "I'm not a big one on drop-dead dates."
-- Baltimore Sun, 3/8/08
"Sources confirmed Thursday that the Cubs have a four-player offer for Roberts on the table that includes the addition of hard-throwing pitching prospect Jose Ceda. Infielder Ronny Cedeno and pitchers Sean Gallagher and Donnie Veal also are in the package.
"The Cubs and Baltimore Orioles talked again during the past week, and insiders in both camps have expressed strong feelings that a deal will get done for the All-Star second baseman. However, they consider it likely to take an 11th-hour agreement before the openers on March 31.
"It's also possible the deal could grow to include pitcher Jason Marquis going to Baltimore and outfielder Jay Payton coming to the Cubs in a 5-for-2 or 6-for-2 trade that likely would include cash."
-- Chicago Sun-Times, 3/14/08
"There have been no significant developments over the past week or two, and the time left for getting the deal done during spring training is growing short. The Orioles aren't fettered by any hard-and-fast limits on when they can act, but you can bet both teams would like to reach some semblance of roster certainty over the next 10 days.
"Does that mean a deal is imminent? No. It probably means that if the Cubs do not show a sense of urgency during the next week or so, this could stretch well into the season and the chemistry of the situation could change dramatically..."
-- Baltimore Sun, 3/15/08
"Can we please overpay for Chone Figgins and forget about Baltimore already?"
-- Cubster, The Cub Reporter, 3/15/08
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!