JUPITER, Fla. -- For three months, it appeared certain that Orioles All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts would be wearing another uniform on Opening Day of the 2008 season. However, that's no longer the case.
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail acknowledged yesterday that it's unlikely that Roberts will be traded before Monday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards.
"I've mentioned to Brian that I think it's unlikely that something happens," said MacPhail. "I think with each passing hour at this point, it's less and less likely. As we get this close [to Opening Day], the greater likelihood is that we're going to start [the season] with what we have."
MacPhail has been in trade talks with the Chicago Cubs about Roberts for several months, but the talks stalled over the past week or so and it's a long shot that they'll heat back up any time soon, according to two industry sources.
The Cubs made a four-player offer of infielder Ronny Cedeno and pitching prospects Sean Gallagher, Donald Veal and Jose Ceda, and it was turned down. The Orioles wanted the package upgraded, possibly including another player or pitcher that they deemed major league ready, according to sources. Chicago never made another offer.
MacPhail wouldn't confirm whether the talks with the Cubs have reached an impasse. "I don't really like to characterize our discussions with other clubs. I'll leave that to somebody else."
However, all indications are that while both teams continue to scout one another's players, they have also moved on. The Cubs signed outfielder and potential leadoff man Reed Johnson earlier this week. It's expected that the Orioles will revisit trade talks for Roberts closer to the July trade deadline.