Nobody Knows Nuthin': The Roberts Rumor Mill Churns On

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, appearing Monday night on WGN Sports Central with Dave Kaplan, said he expects the Cubs and Orioles to reach agreement on a trade involving Brian Roberts in "a week to ten days."

Zrebiec disagreed with Kaplan's suggestion that the talks have "heated up" in the past few days; he thinks the discussions have been on a steady, low simmer since they began. Bottom line: Zrebiec said he's confident Roberts will be in Cub blue by Opening Day.

As to who the Cubs might be shipping east or at least whom the O's might want, the usual names were brought up: Gallagher, Cedeno and/or Patterson, Pie, Ceda. (No mention of Donald Veal.) Zrebiec said the O's are especially high on Gallagher and see him as a potential #3 or maybe even a #2 starter. No such love for Matt Murton, however. According to the writer, the Orioles think Murton will require 400-500 at-bats a season to be an effective MLB hitter, which he won't get in Baltimore if he's part of a platoon arrangement with, say, former Astro Luke Scott.

On an unrelated front...

Kaplan also spoke tonight with Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin. In the course of that conversation, Kaplan said his sources tell him that the Cubs are talking deal with a major, Chicago-based corporation which would pay less than the $40 million bandied about for naming rights. The company would be paying for "significant" signage all over the ballpark but would voluntarily forego renaming the park and in a selfless gesture of corporate goodness, allow the place to remain "Wrigley Field."

Nice folks, those selfless, major Chicago corporate guys.



the brian roberts trade saga has more lives than a crappy middle infielder on Jim Hendry's libido.

Wow... I don't really get it.

I really don't get how K-Pat's best offer was a minor league contract.

Don't get me wrong - KPat isn't going to be an all-star anytime soon, but he is good enough to get some legitimate offers, and even opportunities to start.

"Nice folks, those selfless, major Chicago corporate guys."

Sounds like in this case, you are right. I hope this is true.

I was being sarcastic (my usual state). It strikes me as a rather brilliant solution to the problem any company would face if they were the ones to soil the character of Wrigley Field by rebranding it. Of course, Walgreen's or McDonalds or whoever will spare no expense or forego any public relations opportunity to let us know how swell they are.

feels like it's lasted longer than the whole Santana and Bedard trades put together.

I'm still peeking at the MVN blog to see if there are a few stragglers over there, but I think we've been able to pull them out of the water and brought them over here.

Mostly just flies there now.

I wish they'd hurry up and get this trade done, no way we can play this season with only 5 second basemen.

Do we know how he fits into the team or are we just obsessed because it's a trade? I'm cool with that, I just want to know. Obviously, the point of the trade is for his bat, since we're not exactly hurting at 2B, does Derosa move to SS? Roberts to CF?

If we end up giving Cedeno, Marshall/Gallagher, and EPat/Veal, then I'd be okay with that. Gallagher would be nice to hang on to but you have to give up something to get it. EPat's great but he's blocked in OF and can't play 2B in the Cubs' mind. If it's more than that, we ought to pass. I think Roberts would upgrade the team noticeably in terms of his speed and the resulting readjustment of the lineup, but I don't want to give up Pie or any other key part to get him. I think this team still could use a bit more of an offensive upgrade, but I think SP may be our weakness this year.

I'm hoping the O's are looking for a pitcher. Seems like we have an extra or two of those laying around.

Pinhead starting to realize at 10 HR high OBP guy is better at #2 than #3 in the lineup... Guess he got 'comfortable' quick.

The best thing about the Roberts trade is that it will keep Theriot and Pie down at the bottom of the lineup, when Theriot does play. You would have to think that Patterson at second was for the Orioles scouts. Cedeno and Patterson as the keystone combo would at least make fans happier about losing Robertson (hey, we got two starters for 1!), and I think in that relatively low pressure situation the two of them will do well, so Manny can complain more about Hendry. Maybe Fox is on their radar with the way he's hit so far in the spring. He doesn't seem to have a place to play with us, but Baltimore could get him time at LF/1B/DH if they like him.

The title says it all. I wish the rumors would just go away. How many times do I need to be told that the Orioles want Gallagher, Marhsall, Cedeno, Murton, and my mom?

Well, who DOESN'T want your mom? Hiyoooooo!

Yeah, it's pretty tiresome at this point. Everything that happens until he's a Cub has become white noise.

How's her arm?

Well - it has taken me a while, but I now would agree with most of your assessments - Ryan Theriot is not very good.

Between he and Cedeno, as it stands, he'll make less mistakes in the field.

Probably, batting 8th he'd be ok.

As for Pie, he STILL is not ready for Prime Time. My guess: HEndry is trying to make a deal for Crisp. Perhaps Marquis would be the guy to go?

She's in the 45 - 49mph range, but she's crafty.

Your mom is Jamie Moyer? Cool!

No, she's a righty. That's why she's out of a job. Now if she was a lefty, I'm sure she'd be in someone's rotation at this point, despite being 50+ years old.

"As for Pie, he STILL is not ready for Prime Time. My guess: HEndry is trying to make a deal for Crisp. Perhaps Marquis would be the guy to go?"

I am not a Jason Marquis fan but we need to be careful about trading him right now. I hated his comments the other day, but there is no denying that he helped carry our SP staff last April and May. We also don't know what we are going to get out of Lieber and Dempster in the starting roles. We also don't know if Marshall's stiff shoulder will hold up for an entire we already have two lefties with big breaking balls and a high fast ball

"Well - it has taken me a while, but I now would agree with most of your assessments - Ryan Theriot is not very good."

Welcome to the club. Let's just all hope that if we do trade for Roberts, Piniella realizes that DeRosa is the better option at SS.

That makes a lot of sense except DeRo can't play SS! DeRo is what 33 y/o and has less range than he had with the Braves where he occasionally played SS. He is a poor defensive second baseman and now we will ask him to man the SS position. I am suprised that you did not suggest Murton over Theriot.

"That makes a lot of sense except DeRo can't play SS!"

Theriot is below average at SS, both defensively and offensively. It is tough to think DeRosa would be more anything more than a slight downgrade defensively, if that, but a clear upgrade offensively, more than making up the possible defensive downgrade.

Manny - that's very logical! So basically there is no basis to your conclusion just that you think that DeRo can't be worse than Theriot. Look I know you hate Theriot and I am not here to defend him because its useless but unless we have someone better to play SS I don't see what all this crying is going to get you.

How many times do we have to have this same conversation? I mean seriously, what's the point? Is it your goal to bash Theriot as much as possible? Do you think you will eventually wear everyone down and convince everyone who visits TCR that you are right? Even if you do that, what do you really gain?

Just remember last year you were saying the same stuff about DeRosa. You hated the signing, said he should never be a starter, thought he would contribute to a very weak bottom third of the order, etc.

And I'm not criticizing you for being wrong. We've all been wrong. It's just that after being wrong most of us realize there is that possibility when talking about the next guy. You act like Theriot is the worst offensive and defensive shortstop we could find and that you will 100% be proven correct as the season goes on. I for one hope he has a tremendous year.

He is a poor defensive second baseman

Since when is DeRosa is a poor defensive 2b?

Since Rory got on this kick that DeRosa can't play SS. the White Sox radio color analyst. Chris Singleton is going to Baseball Tonight and Steve will be taking over for him.

Steve Stone is the best baseball analyst I just wish the Cubs had the brains to bring him back. Now I have to watch the Sox!

"Now I have to watch the Sox!"

Have fun with that. Make sure to fill us in every once in awhile on how Ozzieball is going.

Of course if you watch the Sox, you'll need to turn down the volume on the tv and turn up the volume on the radio to hear Stoney.

Only six bids in the CBOE seat auction so far.

Stone with Ozzie and the White Sox = a match made in heaven!!

Brett Favre has retired.

Brett Favre has retired.
maybe Hendry will sign him...he throws harder then Lieber...observers of his fastball say he's throwing "cheese"

Farve in the 5th

On another note I hope this naming rights crap goes away soon and we can get on to the business of who will actually own our team and winning a WS.

You stationed at Ft. Campbell I assume airassault?

Contract talks have slowed between Favre and the Cubs...apparently they will not let him wear Wranglers when he pitches. The Cubs are also unsure of how affective his best pitch will be...the running underhand flip/toss

I think that might be a balk.

Out for what could be two weeks or more.

I knew when i found out in Parachat that he broke part of his finger he would be out longer than the 5-7 days they initially reported. You just can't mess with the fingers on a batter, it screws up how they swing the bat and it needs to heal. 5-7 days much less 2 weeks isnt going to heal this type of injury.

Well now he gets to rest his legs too.

Can he play 2B?

Favre and Samalamadingdong playing catch at HoHoKam...priceless.

So in basically one year, Korey went from being the target of Disty's ire against youth and now is a "proven veteran" with speed and "intangible" skills...Because, y'know, that Jay Bruce guy is kinda unproven.

The Reds could have been a dangerous team in this division if they committed to Phillips, Votto, Bruce, Encarnacion in the field and Bailey and Cuerto as starters. But it looks like a slow-motion train wreck.

Talk radio here in the Natti is questioning the signing because Norris Hopper and Ryan Freel have higher OBP and are both speedy. I'm not sure where Hairston fits in except maybe to give BPhillips a day off here and there...

Rest assured. Freel will see plenty of time ahead of Encarnacion, and Hopper will handle left when Dunn goes to 1st base to play ahead of Votto. This is just Dusty covering his bases. Has anyone seen Wayne Krivksy and Jim Hendry in the same room yet? They might actually be the same guy.

Dunn can't play first base. They tried that when Sean Casey left town. He's not leaving LF as brutal as he is out there.

Yeah. It won't be Dunn blocking Votto at 1B. It'll be Scott Hatteberg. I bet the Reds will on a weekly basis field a line-up of Hairston at 2B, Keppinger at 3B, Korey in CF, Hatteberg at 1B, and even sometimes Hairston in RF to give Griffey a breather.

Should we start a contest, trying to find out what "major Chicago-based corporation" is?

I'm thinking it's Ferrara Pan Candy. Lemonheads Park at Wrigley Field. The Atomic Fireball Bullpen. The Jaw Busters Broadcast Booth. The Black Forest Gummies Ivy.


I can imagine McDonald's might be a big player. Hamburglar stolen bases, Ronald McDonald Woo Woo, Homeskillet breakfast home runs...

Really can't wait for the Trib/Zell to get the hell out of the picture. Having an owner that isn't at all culpable to the fan base (or the future of the team) isn't a good thing.

Here's a list of "major" corporations in the city and suburbs:

Obviously, some aren't large enough and others aren't doing well enough to buy naming rights. It's somewhat of a long shot, but I'm guessing Allstate.

Sam Zell = Mr. Potter from Its a Wonderful Life

Dark horse: Boeing. Trying to prove how much they love their new hometown. Kaplan also mentioned Walgreen's, but I couldn't tell whether he was letting the cat out of the bag or if the name just popped into his head because the WGN street-level studio looks out at a Walgreen's on Michigan Avenue.

Allstate might make sense, but they already have the naming rights to a stadium here in Chicago, Allstate Arena in Rosemont (used to be the Rosemont Horizon, and I still call it that).

I really wonder about the economics of stadium naming deals. It's hard to believe that putting $20MM/year into a stadium name is better marketing than putting the same $20MM into traditional advertising campaigns -- particularly with a stadium like Wrigley where purchasing the naming rights is likely to buy you more bad press than good.

I have to believe that it's a corporate pecker contest. They have money to burn and so they make themselves feel important by putting their name on big buildings.

Good point Chad! And they get the VIP treatment with skyboxes, tickets, meet & greet with players, etc. for them, their families, their employees and clients.

I'm guessing the deal will be to call it something like "Wrigley Field presented by Motorola"

Please let them try to name it Tootsie Roll Park...

It'd be more of a natural for them to sponsor the toilet stalls.

Better bet will be something like Viagra or Cialis.

Sounds like Dusty thinks it is solely the Cubs fault that Corey has been a bust....

Krane Kinney was on ESPN 1000

Can't promise that Wrigley Field will be part of new name if they sell name rights.

Zell appoved
-Z's contract
-Field fix up
-Fukudome contract

Cubs have hold up on two trades (one for you know who) both are being held up by odd circumstances (looking at you Angelo). He wouldn't name names obvisouly so don't know about the second trade.

Could the second trade be contingent on the "you know who" trade?

I agree 100% vorare. Sadly, it doesn't look like he is in any hurry though. They announced this last year on opening Day i think, and I was hoping it would be all done by this Opening Day, but now I am hoping it could be done by the end of the season. We already will be having a lame duck GM possibly making trades at the deadline, let's hope we get new ownership in by the end of the year, so we can have a set plan, personnel and management going into the offseason.

I thought Hendry has an option to extend himself one more year.

Aren't there pills for that?

Hendry did have an option that was possible based on completion of the Tribune sale, so his contract goes through 2009. That was reported by Bruce Levine during one of his AM 1000 radio reports.

"Hendry did have an option that was possible based on completion of the Tribune sale, so his contract goes through 2009. That was reported by Bruce Levine during one of his AM 1000 radio reports."

That is not what the Sun Times said a couple days ago.

Basically it says that the team would need to be sold, which it has not yet. So if it takes till after the season, Hendry's contract would expire and the option disappear. But I guess we can thank the lovely McFail for that doosy of a option. McFail is the gift that keeps on giving. You'd think giving him a gift extension on his way out would have been enough. I wonder what other little surprised there are. But all that being said, I would be pleasantly surprised if they do in fact not extend Hendry for 1 year if no new owner is set by year's end.

Good take on Hendry getting an extension.

I can't see Zell or the Trib letting him go if the new ownership is not in place by year's end, so it is very likely Teflon Jim will slide by for another year. Hurry the f*** up, Zell!!!

"but unless we have someone better to play SS I don't see what all this crying is going to get you."

We do, it is DeRosa, and I am not "crying". Not yet at least, but maybe another year of Theriot at SS will get me there...:)

The reply button is your friend...

Lets just go ahead and forget DeRosa can't play SS, and sucks at playiing it when he does now at his age.

What is it with Cubs fans and them latching onto a player who once played a position briefly and believing he can suddenly step into that position and play 162 games of baseball.

I still have flashbacks of when people swore up and down Jeff Kent should be signed for second base and then be told he is gonna play 3rd, cuz he briefly played it at sometime in his past.

Every year its someone new. This year its Manny and DeRosa. Seriously when does Fukudome for SS watch start?

Todd Helton in LF.

I read that Reds article and you got Jay Bruce believing he has going to get a legit chance to win an OF spot. And then you got Dusty all complaining how Corey was rushed.

So Jay Bruce at age 20, competition for the OF is over for you now that Corey and Hairston are on the team. So sorry, dont want to rush you, like Dusty said.

Votto, 24
Bailey, 21

LOL...Gonna be fun watching Dusty find excuses not to play them.

I think a package with Marquis would make a lot of sense for Roberts. Will the O’s give him a guarantee that he starts? “His value doesn't lie in the bullpen”

Jason Marquis

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 18 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 6 hours 47 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 6 hours 48 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 16 hours 29 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 19 hours 27 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 19 hours 39 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 19 hours 48 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 53 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 12 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 20 hours 48 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 21 hours 5 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 21 hours 7 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 25 min ago view