Earlier in the week, we took a stroll down memory lane and looked at some of the rather important transactions that took place this past off-season. Now we set our sites on the ones that Jim Hendry made while the games were being played. Here were some of the key moves.
June 20, 2007 – Traded Michael Barrett and cash to the San Diego Padres. Received Rob Bowen and Kyler Burke (minors)
This one made some waves when it went down. There were a lot of people that hated it, myself included. At the time, The Cubs were 8 games out of first place and it looked to be a white flag trade. Rob Bowen, why possessing decent plate discipline and solid defense, was not the hitter the Cubs needed in their lineup. This move forced the Cubs to go to a platoon with Bowen and Koyie Hill, both of which were completely inept at the plate. Bowen would eventually be moved in a later deal and Hill would later be sent back to AAA after clearing waivers to remove him from the 40 man roster. What intrigued me about the deal was Kyler Burke. After a very uneventful 2006 in which he hit .209 in 45 games for the Padres Arizona Rookie League team, he was promoted to the A level team to fast track him to the big leagues in 2007. After bombing out there, the Padres began to lose patience with him. After coming to Chicago, he started to work himself out of the funk that was San Diego and actually play a little better. He hasn’t shown the type of numbers that made him a first round pick out of high school, but a fresh start appears to have done him good. I’m keeping my eye on him and watching for a much improved 2008 out of him.
Verdict: If taken by itself, this deal appears to be a wash. San Diego doesn’t get much out of Barrett and the Cubs appear to have received little value in return. This is the type of deal that really needs to be evaluated down the road and as part of the later deal with the A’s.
July 16, 2007 – Traded Jerry Blevins and Rob Bowen to the Oakland Athletics. Received Jason Kendall and cash
This was the other shoe. Jim Hendry did a good job and realizing that Bowen was not the answer and moving him to Oakland for a player they really couldn’t afford anymore. Kendall was struggling mightily in Oakland and it was time for a change. He turned his game around in a big way after coming over and this move may have been the key to the season, in my mind. If Jim Hendry lets us go the rest of the year with Bowen and Hill behind the plate, we don’t beat the Brewers for the division. I also love the fact that Bowen played decent after going to Oakland, because it means the waters with Oakland and Chicago in terms of future trading should be fine. You never like it when a team consistently gets the better of a deal because eventually the other team quits listening.
Verdict: A great move for Jim Hendry. This was the key in season move.
July 19, 2007 – Traded Cesar Izturis and cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Received PTBNL
This one just made me laugh. Hendry traded trash to a division team. Until we know whether we received trash back, though, we really can’t evaluate this one.
August 6, 2007 – Released Wade Miller
There were a few other moves this season, but those were the ones that I found particularly intriguing. What are your thoughts? If you ask me, Hendry had a pretty good year.