Cubs sweeten offer to O’s for Roberts

March 14, 2008 at 11:00 am 10 comments

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The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cubs have increased their offer for Brian Roberts to include minor league starter Jose Ceda along with pitchers Sean Gallagher and Donnie Veal and infielder Ronny Cedeno.

The newspaper notes that the trade could be expanded to include Jason Marquis and Jay Payton, but isn’t likely to be completed until the end of camp. The rumored offer with Ceda included would feature the Cubs’ three best pitching prospects and Cedeno, who could step in for Miguel Tejada as the Orioles’ starting shortstop.

This deal makes complete sense for the Orioles who are going nowhere this year. They would get a top pitching prospect in Ceda who is a legit #2-3 starter or a dominant reliever at worst. Gallagher is a good #4-5 or a good reliever. Veal is a bit of a quandry to me. He has good stuff but doesn’t seem to be able to handle the higher levels as well. He also could be a good #3-5 or a good reliever. I really do think Cedeno could be an average major league shortstop and regular playing will tell if he can or can’t. He would be an automatic upgrade over Luis Hernandez.

The Cubs would get a true leadoff hitter that can field his posotion and the move would allow DeRosa to become a super-sub and spot starter that will still get his 400+ at-bats.

I like this move for both teams but it only makes sense for the O’s if the deal stays as the 4-1 and doesn’t expand to include Marquis.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
Some info taken from Chicago Sun Times and Rotoworld.com

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlie Nehl  |  March 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

    As you probably know, I’ve been following this deal for a pretty long time. Honestly, Gallagher, who I think is going to end up being a pretty darn good pitcher just need to be moved in deal. He won’t be starting for the Cubs for another few seasons at the earliest, probably leaving him out of options. He’d obviously start for the Birds, most likely this season with a rotation in bloody shambles.

    Donnie Veal is a bit of a mystery to me as well. He was pratically untouchable in AA, and has been hit or miss in AAA. I still think he’ll be decent in a rotation, as he’s a extremely fierce competetior and hold it upon himself to do well, as a pitcher should.

    Jose Ceda was who the Cubs picked up in the Todd Walker deal a few years back. Last last season, he was converted from a starter to a reliever (kind of like how Carlos Marmol was), because he’s got pretty electric stuff. He needs big time work on his command and who better to go to then Leo Mazzole(Sp?). He’s rough but with work, I think he’ll be a closer in a few 3-4 seasons.

    As of now the Cubs are tailoring Cedeno to be a utility player. He played in the Venezuelan Fall League as a Center Fiedler, and has done that in a few spring training games.

    I think the Cubs will try to move Marquis since Lieber has mostly regained his 2001 form mostly. Well especially good because then he was an ace, and now he’ll probablly pitch 5th in the rotation.

    As much as I really like Mark DeRosa. I just gotta say that Brian Roberts > Mark DeRosa. With injuries and days off, he’ll play 3-4 times a week anyway, so it’s all good!

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  March 14, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Good analysis Charlie! I knew I could count on you for some more insight. I see Ceda as a Marmol type as well. He could start or be a dominant reliever for more than one inning at a time. Mazzone isn’t with Baltimore anymore though.

    Reply
  • 3. Charlie Nehl  |  March 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    He isn’t? That was short lived.

    Reply
  • 4. Charlie Nehl  |  March 14, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Wow it appears so. Who in their right might would fire Leo Mazzone? He’s easily the best pitching coach… uh.. ever!

    Reply
  • 5. Erik  |  March 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I’m sure Mel Stottlemyer would argue that he is the best pitching coach seeing how many of his teams have WS Rings.

    As for the proposed deal… I think it makes sense for both clubs. Cubs are a win now franchise who are trying to get out from under Bartman’s ball and the goat. Roberts adds speed and power as well as a decent glove. Derosa is a bit of a bust for me… Remember his career year took place in TEXAS. Where my dead grandmother can homer on a consistant basis. Derosa’s best role is that of a super sub (although I see Theriot doing it eventually). Problem would be for those prospects cracking the rotation. Zambrano, Hill, Lilly, Dempster and Lieber are a pretty decent starting 5. Cedeno has become expendable.
    On the flip side Baltimore needs hope for the future… cause the Bloomingdale sharks stand a greater chance at winning more games then they do. It also helps them with some salary relief.

    The only negative I would have to say about Roberts going to the Cubs is that he may be a rental player but I think he is eligible for Free Agency at he end of the 09 season. I could and probably am wrong… but I think more than likely I am correct.

    On a side note knowing that Charlie is a big time Cubs fan it will probably happen just cause he is praying dearly for it. Is congrats in order Charlie?

    Reply
  • 6. Charlie Nehl  |  March 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Ask me again in October, and if the Cubs make the playoffs. I’m not holding my breath.

    Reply
  • 7. John Cloutman  |  March 16, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Brian Roberts is not going to be that one piece to propel the Cubs into the World Series. The Cubs will win the division again, but they will be bounced out in the Wild Card Series once again. The Cubs need another good starter, not a second baseman.

    Reply
  • 8. bob jeffries  |  March 17, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Brian Roberts is that piece the Cubs need because he fills two holes, such as a leadoff hitter so they can move Soriano down in the lineup and can get on base via the walk or hit and of couse steal bases, other than Teriot no one else can steal.

    Reply
  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  March 17, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I agree with Bob here. I think the Cubs need a guy who can take a walk in that lineup. Roberts will be the best basestealer on the team and the acquisition will allow them to move DeRosa to a super-sub. Don’t forget Bob, Soriano can run too!

    Reply
  • 10. Charlie Nehl  |  March 18, 2008 at 8:34 am

    I honestly think the Cubs will be ok with the starters they’ll have. I think they will try to move Jason Marquis by the end of spring training, with the emergence of Dempster and Lieber as the front runners for the 4th and 5th spot in the rotation.

    If they fail, depending on the package with the Orioles (assuming it happens), they’ll still have Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall that will start too, and both have fairly bright futures as back end rotation guys that do an adaquete job.

    Reply

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