Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Brian Roberts to the Cubs Rumors Heating Up


According to SI.com's Jon Heyman the Orioles and Cubs has resumed trade discussions involving All-Star 2B Brian Roberts. According to Heyman Jay Payton would be sent with Roberts to Chicago for a package involving pitchers Sean Marshall and Sean Gallagher, as well as outfielder Matt Murton and infielder Ronny Cedeno. Right now the biggest hold up of the potential trade is Baltimore owner Peter Angelos putting the kibosh on it. It does look as if Angelos has wavered a bit in his reluctance to trade Roberts and is ready to go forth with a full on rebuilding of the organization.

Roberts is a switch hitter who should thrive hitting at the top of the Chicago Cubs line up. Roberts provides significant stolen base potential and a good glove in the infield. This trade should allow players like Ryan Theriot and Mark Derosa to return to the super utility roles in which they thrive.

FANTASY IMPACT:

Roberts was already one of the top ranked fantasy second basemen and this potential deal could increase his fantasy value even higher. While his homerun totals should remain about the same since Wrigley is a smaller park similar to Camden Yards, Roberts should easily score more runs playing in a more potent offense. Additionally, if he bats second in the lineup he should see better pitches to hit given the far superior lineup protection he will receive in Chicago. This should help him maintain a .300 average with a higher OBP and a potential for more stolen bases as Pinella will likely turn him loose on the base paths.

Baltimore would be getting a couple of young pitchers in Marshall and Gallagher, who won't be great fantasy players for this season, so I wouldn't get too excited about the cracking the O's rotation. They would also get SS Ronny Cedeno, who is awful and should be ignored. Matt Murton could be an interesting fantasy player. For years he has struggled to get consistent at bats in the Cubs outfield, and could become a solid fantasy outfielder if he can get a decent amount of at bats this season.

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