It's not very often that you can make the middle of your lineup more potent by moving your leadoff hitter there. That is not the case in Chicago.
Alfonso Soriano led the Cubs with 29 home runs, even though he missed 53 games. He was fifth on the team with 75 RBI and was second with 19 stolen bases. Soriano is a run producer, not a run catalyst. While he did spark the offense in his return from the disabled list, he would have been more valuable in the middle of the lineup.
The middle of the Cubs lineup also had a terrible tendency to slump at the same time. Soriano may not fix this, but being there biggest power threat, he could deliver important home runs with people on base.
Chicago hasn't had a true leadoff hitter since Kenny Lofton and that was well after his best years. Acquiring Brian Roberts would do for the leadoff spot, what Aramis Ramirez did for third base.
There are a lot of things you can count on from Brian Roberts. First, he is going to make contact the majority of the time. In 2008 he struck out 104 times, one more than Soriano's 103, but he came to the plate 197 more times. Roberts is also good for 45 doubles, 40 stolen bases, five triples and 10 home runs.
Adding Roberts to the Cubs lineup may not only help them, but him. With the prolific middle of the lineup the Cubs would have, the top of the lineup would get a lot of pitches to hit. Roberts average could easily jump to .310-.320 and he could add 15-20 stolen bases.
What it would do for Chicago is solidify the top two spots in the lineup. The combination of Roberts and Theriot boats a combined .382 OBP. With Roberts' ability to steal bases and Theriot's knack for hitting singles, the Cubs could have a lot of 1-0 leads before their power hitters come up.
Now, looking at the actual trade, the Orioles would undoubtedly want young talent that can play now. The Cubs would have the answer at second base for the Orioles by sending them Mike Fontenot. The Cubs could also deliver by sending them Sean Marshall, a left-handed pitcher that could go into their rotation or bullpen immediately.
The Orioles could then have their choice of a few different young pitchers; Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio and Carmen Pignatiello, all of whom have major league experience.
The Cubs would be sending players that are very talented, but will waste in their organization.
So, including "First Wish" and "Second Wish" this is a potential lineup for the Chicago Cubs.
1. Brian Roberts 2B
2. Ryan Theriot SS
3. Mark Teixera 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano LF
5. Aramis Ramirez 3B
6. Kosuke Fukudome CF
7. Geovany Soto C
8. Mark DeRosa RF
"Second Wish" is the second segment out of three in a series of moves that writer Ricky Butts would like to see the Chicago Cubs make.
Read "First Wish"