Roberts Is Open to Trade, But Making No Demands

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 19 -- Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts said on Tuesday that he would welcome a move to a contending team.

"Would it be bittersweet in a lot of ways? Yeah, of course," said Roberts, who reported here for the team's first full-squad workouts. "It would be weird to leave here. But an opportunity to win in the right situation, I don't think anybody would necessarily argue against it."

But Roberts stopped short of demanding a trade from the only organization he's known as a professional: "I would never call this organization and say I want to be traded, I need to be traded."

Roberts, who has emerged as a star and a fan favorite since the Orioles selected him 50th overall in the 1999 first-year player draft, has drawn interest from several teams.

"It's just a touchy situation just because I love the Orioles," he said. "I've been here since Day One and I do want to see this organization win. I've always said that."

Several published reports have tabbed the Chicago Cubs as Roberts's most aggressive suitors. But Orioles President Andy MacPhail, who has already dealt shortstop Miguel Tejada and ace pitcher Erik Bedard to procure younger players, said no move involving Roberts is imminent.

"He was very careful and respectful not to really voice any trade demand or anything of that nature," said MacPhail, who has tried to keep Roberts informed of any potential moves. "He was obviously, as you can imagine, curious and I did my best to fill him in."

When asked if the player's admission of steroid use affected the timing of a potential deal, MacPhail responded, "No, not a factor."

Meantime, Roberts refused to guess when he might be traded.

"I haven't thought that deeply about it yet," he said. "I take it one day at a time. If I looked at July 31 [baseball's trading deadline], I'd probably be in a hospital pretty soon, stress-related or something. I don't look that far in advance."

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