Roberts trade talks heat up

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The Cubs and Orioles have resumed trade talks involving second baseman Brian Roberts, and one person familiar with the talks indicated discussions were starting to get serious.

In one of the trade proposals being discussed, outfielder Jay Payton would accompany Roberts to Chicago.

The teams have been talking for weeks, and the Orioles have been eyeing pitchers Sean Marshall and Sean Gallagher, outfielder Matt Murton and infielder Ronny Cedeno, among others.

A deal appeared to be in place a few weeks back but Orioles owner Peter Angelos didn't approve it immediately. Angelos has been reluctant to trade Roberts, a personal favorite. However, it is clear now that the Orioles are serious about rebuilding.

Roberts hit .290 with 12 home runs, 57 RBIs and 50 steals last year. Payton hit .256 with seven homers and 58 RBIs.