It’s safe to say that the 0ff-season player movement has basically stopped. Sure, there are still potential pickups that may be tossed to the scrap heap, but generally those aren’t impact type guys. That being said, let’s grade out Jim’s off-season and see how he fared.
- Xavier Nady Elects Free Agency – It’s not really a move that Hendry did, but rather what he didn’t do. It takes balls to let Nady go when you essentially have no heir apparent to play first base in the fold, but Hendry had a plan with this. Nady wanted a starting spot and got that with the Diamondbacks. - Grade: B
- Carlos Pena Signed via Free Agency – Not only does Pena get the chance to be the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to befriending and modeling for guys like Soriano and Castro, but the deal is for one year. If he stinks, then the Cubs make a run at someone like Pujols or Fielder. If he’s great, then you have the chance to either trade him before the deadline if you’re out of contention or re-sign him. No risk, high reward. – Grade: A
- Kerry Wood Signed via Free Agency – The bullpen was a mess last year. Wood brings leadership and skill to the pen, combined with the fact that he’s beloved here in Chicago, all for a bargain basement price. The deal Wood signed is microscopic. The fact that Hendry was able to do it is spectacular. – Grade: A
- Matt Garza Trade – Garza and Perez come to Chicago in exchange for prospects. The Cubs needed to make a move to answer the moves by Milwaukee and Hendry answered in a big way. I shared my feelings on the deal a while back. I like it a lot. Garza will lead this starting staff in most pitching numbers. – Grade: B
- Tom Gorzelanny Trade – Gorzo hasn’t really ever earned respect where he’s gone and was just one of many names involved in the competition for the last two spots in the rotation. Instead the Cubs get a few prospects in return and clear up some of the mystery with the rotation. The only thing I don’t like about the deal is that Gorzelanny was a lefty. – Grade: C
- Old Man Signings – Todd Wellemeyer, Braden Looper and Augie Ojeda are all brought in to compete for a job. do with that what you will. - Grade: Who Cares?
Overall, considering what he had to work with, I think Hendry had a pretty nice off-season. Thoughts?