(posted on Oriole Magic earlier this weekend...)
Like a guy or girl who you are smitten by, but don't want to commit to, the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago Cubs once again had chatter this week about Brian Roberts, but again it seems like the deal is on hold -- again.
From MLB Trade Rumors: 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.
Well, it seems like we have been hearing the same names over and over from the Cubs, and it looks like GM Jim Hendry right now does not want to make a move that may be seen as steep. Meanwhile, as we know Andy MacPhail is a patient man, and we know he will not move on a deal unless it is to his liking.
I'm sure a move will be contingent on how the situation with Mark DeRosa and the infield develops throughout Spring Training along with the first month or two of the season.
Will something happen? Who knows? I thought a deal would have been done this week, considering the circumstances with the Cubs, but it looks like Hendry is holding his cards for now.
As well, look who we are interested in:
Still considering adding a veteran to the back end of their rotation, the Orioles have had several discussions with Scott Boras, the agent for free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse, 29. Lohse, a right-hander who is 63-74 with a 4.82 ERA over seven big league seasons, was originally seeking a five-year deal for approximately $50 million. However, his asking price has reportedly dropped significantly. The Orioles have yet to make an offer.
I'm surprised he's not been signed by anyone. I'm not sure if it's his asking price, or a case of weariness by some teams based on his talent; however, if the price is right and a deal could be worked out, he might not be bad for us. Granted, I don't see him as a plus pitcher, he's a decent arm with good stuff; alas, he's not been able to ever get a combination to become a winning pitcher.
For the short term, he might be a viable option for Baltimore, but if he wants a 3 or 4 year deal, I say pass.