Update 3-15-08, 1:20 pm- According to MLBTR, the Cubs did not offer Ceda and a deal is not close. Although I have been hearing the deal will get done by next weekend and still believe Roberts will be a Cub before Opening Day.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times the Cubs have offered a 4 player package for Brian Roberts that includes Jose Ceda, Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Donnie Veal. He expressed that the Cubs and Baltimore have talked during the last few weeks and both camps think a deal will get done before opening day if not sooner. He also stats that Marquis and Payton could be in the deal, which would give the O's a nice veteran presence along with the "Human Rain Delay" and Payton would give the Cubs that 4th outfielder who can play all three spots.
As far as the package for Roberts, I do think it is a little much for the all star 2nd baseman. It is always hard giving up young talent but the Cubs need a legitimate base stealer at the top of the lineup with Soriano's legs not being 100% and Theriot tendency to go through slumps during the season. Plain and simple they need Roberts more than the O's need to trade him and I think that is why the Cubs proposed this package to the Birds.
I do not agree with Gordon on saying that the deal could go down to the day before opening day. The sooner it gets done the better, Theriot and Roberts would have to get use to each other, turning double plays, taking the bag, etc. I feel this will get done within the week( which we have already been hearing). I do agree that this recent lineup change feels like it is preparing for Roberts. Here is what it would look like-
That lineup is tough! Double leadoff man, speed at the top, 2 through 6 can hit 20+ homers, 80+RBI, and avg .300. Not a lot of teams in baseball can say that.