Up until the 1990ís, the biggest goof by Cub brass was trading away Lou Brock. With the failure to sign Greg Maddux, I believe Brock slipped to #2. Who was to blame? Greg? GM Larry Himes? Scott Boras, Madduxí agent? Let the debate continue. The excerpt is from Carrie Muskatís compilation Banks to Sandberg to Grace. [The three pitchers he mentions below were starters Jose Guzman, Greg Hibbard and closer Randy Myers.]
They originally made me an offer that I accepted three days later. I didnít accept it on the spot. I called back three days later and accepted the offer, but that wasnít good enough. Because I had turned it down on the spot, it was no longer available to me.
And then at the All Star break, after I had made the All-Star team and was on my way to having another good year, they made me the exact same offer. And I think they knew I would turn it down. And I did. After the season, they made the exact same offer again. It never changed. The argument we had at the time was what my market value was. They said they were willing to pay me my market value, and I was willing to sign for a little less than that but we didnít know what that was. The only way to find out was to go through free agency. And once I talked to the Yankees and the Braves, then they no longer had any interest in signing me.
I think really it was all a bunch of hogwash. I think what they wanted to do was to get three pitchers instead of one and they didnít say it. Thatís why it got ugly. Looking back on it, as much as I enjoyed playing in Chicago and as much as I enjoyed living there and being a Cub, the grass was greener on the other side.
Iím glad it happened. At the time I was crushed. Iím glad it happened.