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August 2011

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Roundtable: Trade Deadline Reaction

Written by , Posted in General

Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed. How do you feel about what Jim Hendry did or didn’t do?


As of this writing (9 am Sunday), the Cubs have only made one deadline deal–the Fukudome trade. As Norm said earlier in the week, Fukudome by himself can only bring so much back in return. While that is certainly true, the Cubs got absolutely nothing from the Indians. It’s too bad the Cubs didn’t package Fukudome with some combination of players that could have included Pena, Byrd, one of the relievers, Dempster (if he’d accept a trade), Baker, and/or Reed Johnson. Sending Fukudome and two or three useful players to a contending team could have brought back a nice collection of young talent. Instead, the Cubs got two warm bodies. Hopefully there’s a better deal later in the day. ~ Buddy

I am not impressed by Jim Hendry’s acquisitons, or lack thereof. It was good to get rid of Fukudome and release some dead weight off the books, but the prospects we acquired don’t seem very promising. Abreu is basically a little Soriano at the plate, and Carlton’s numbers are just as bad as the rest of our bullpen is now. We don’t need more pitching – we need good pitching.

There were teams interested in a few of our players, but Hendry didn’t want to move them. Jeff Baker is most likely at his most valuable point in his career, and Hendry has deemed him “untouchable”. Ridiculous. Teams also showed interest in Pena, Byrd, and even Marmol. Maybe the offers weren’t exactly what Hendry wanted, but everyone knows that his track record is less than adequate.

There is a lot of dead weight on our roster that needs to go, but the problem is that either those players don’t want to go (Ramirez/Wood) or Hendry doesn’t want them to go (Baker/Marmol). Why pass up on opportunities to better your team? Because the players we missed opportunities to trade are not players that a winning team will be built around.

People are getting tired of Hendry. If he is trying to gain favor in the eyes of Cubs fans, he is not doing a very good job of it. ~ Katie

I was happy with the deal that sent Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians, but I was also hoping for more activity.  The Cubs received phone calls (depending on which reports are accurate) about Carlos Pena, Marlon Byrd and even Carlos Marmol, but they did not want to part ways with any of them.  Byrd’s value was pretty high, so I would have liked to see them be more willing to let him go.  Pena is in the last year of his contract so there was little sense in the Cubs keeping him the rest of this year.  They could have resigned him on the free agent market after trading him.  He’ll probably be a Type B free agent, so it may have cost the Cubs a draft pick, but they could have netted a prospect of that quality from the Pirates along with saving some dough in a trade.  I am surprised by how many Cubs fans are criticizing Jim Hendry for the Kosuke trade.  I was not expecting much back for the overpaid outfielder.  At least the Cubs ended up with two minor leaguers and saved a small amount of cash in the deal.  It also allows Tyler Colvin to receive regular playing time at the big league level.  The fire sale I was hoping for did not occur, so overall I am a little bit disappointed with just one trade.  Hopefully the Cubs are involved in some waiver deals during the month of August. ~ Brandon

How did the Cubs do at this year’s trade deadline? Terrible. But let’s remember there is still one more month for deals to be made, so the ‘terrible’ might upgrade to ‘bad’.

Moving Fukudome was a no-brainer in my opinion. What would you rather have: Two months of Fukudome at $4,750,000 or six years of two minor leaguers for $4,000,000? There is always a chance, no matter how slim, that one of those players figures it out in those six years. Fukudome gives you nothing after the season is over.

Carlos Pena should’ve been dealt too, but will surely clear waivers, so there is a chance that he’s still traded. Supposedly Pittsburgh was his biggest suitor and they acquired Derrek Lee for a Single A 1B that wasn’t in Pitt’s top 30. Arizona was another rumor, but they didn’t make a move for any 1B, so who knows how legit that rumor was. Check back in 30 days in regards to a Pena trade.

Marlon Byrd was supposedly asked about and rejected by Hendry. For what? We have no idea. The market was flooded with centerfielders and the return Houston got for Michael Bourn was rather disappointing. Like Pena, there is a chance Byrd clears waivers and is moved in August, but I think the progress of Brett Jackson might be the deciding factor. ~ Norm

I’ll grade Jim Hendry at a gracious F+ for this trade deadline.  Over the course of July, the list of players that we were willing to trade grew shorter and shorter.  When the deadline passed we’d only unloaded Fukudome; the best you can say about that deal is that it wasn’t horrible.  It wasn’t great either – and it didn’t further our goal of improving for 2012 (no significant extra cash was made available, no players who will contribute in 2012 were added).

And that’s the ultimate problem, we won’t be better next year.  Standing pat at the deadline guaranteed that; with players like Byrd, Pena, and Ramirez who were all drawing serious interest as late as Saturday, it’s unbelievable that we wouldn’t even engage in substantive talks.  Hendry is now on record as saying that for 2012 we need to “rebuild” not “overhaul.”  Even if you agree with Hendry, he has shown that he lacks the fundamental courage to even rebuild.

The message he sent with the passage of the trade deadline is that he is STRONGLY considering keeping Ramirez AND Pena (which won’t be cheap).  If that happens, our payroll will be basically the same, our team will be basically the same – we will suck again, and rebuilding won’t have started.  If you assume that Ramirez and Pena are both Cubs in 2012, we will almost surely return 7 of 8 position players and 4 of 5 starting pitchers.  That’s NOT rebuilding.  With several teams very interested in some Cub veterans, we choose to not even answer the phone. ~ Jedi

I don’t see how anyone can give Hendry a passing grade for his trade deadline inactivity.  Despite reported interest by a number of contending teams, Hendry chose to hold on to all his overpriced veterans for the last two months of the current Cubs death-spiral.  In fact, if the rumors are true, Hendry’s got plans for Pena, Barney, Castro, Ramirez, AND  Baker–that’s right, five infielders for four spots. Who needs to trade?

Now I won’t pretend to know what kind of prospects–if any–we could have brought back to the team.  But even if all he could accomplish is a salary dump here and there, why didn’t Hendry do anything?  The one deal he did make was essentially just a trade for the sake of making a trade–it didn’t save any real money, and it didn’t bring back any significant prospective talent.

It really seems like Hendry believes this team, as it’s currently constructed, is capable of winning–or that we’re at most a couple pieces away.  If that’s the case, he’s delusional, and it’s probably best he didn’t make any deals. We might have unloaded Pena and Byrd for a mixed case of Snapple and a used bouncy castle. ~ Jeremiah

How do I feel about what Jim Hendry did or didn t do before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline?  Well, he didn t commit seppuku, which is the only honorable way out for him at this point.

I did have numerous reactions to the Fukudome trade. My first reaction was to realize that  A bad Cubs team just got worse!  My second reaction is that I m happy for Kosuke – he got outta Dodge. My third reaction is to recommend a change of slogan for this Ricketts Family Trust-owned organization: from  A Way Of Life  with a waving  W  flag, to  Putting Lipstick On A Pig Since 2009 . ~ Dave

  • Jeremiah Johnson
  • Jedi

    The Jonah Keri article is gold. Spoiler alert – if you’re a fan of Hendry’s don’t read Keri’s assessment.

  • Hendry = Epic Fail.

  • chet

    Jonah knows his stuff. Great article and spot on.

    Here is another gem….Stark’s Winners and Losers…..guess who is on the losing side?

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6822275/trade-deadline-winners-losers

    • PackerCubBull

      Best part: “Now that,” said one scout, “is a deadline loser if I ever saw one.”

  • Jedi

    Olney’s reporting that we expected a prospect back for Pena – ha! We wouldn’t even LET someone take his contract off of our hands.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=6823216

    • Norm

      That’s good. Not being worried about Pena’s salary indicates that getting a player back is more important than money, which is a good thing.

      • Jedi

        We’re waiting for what we won’t get. No one offered a prospect because Pena isn’t worth it for two months. He CERTAINLY won’t be worth a prospect for one month. Like Keri says, we’re being offered 20 cents on the dollar and we’ll sit here waiting for more until we wind up getting zero cents on the dollar (like we did with Kosuke!).

      • Norm

        And, as Olney indicates, someone will claim Pena and if there is no prospect offer, the Cubs can let him go in August, saving that money. So no harm done.
        We won’t know until the end of August.

      • Jedi

        How is another month going to produce a player who can fill in at 1B? Hendry’s No. 1 reason for keeping Pena was that we weren’t being offered a prospect who could step in at 1B, and we don’t have such a prospect in-house. Neither of those things will change in the next month, ergo, Hendry won’t be trading Pena unless he contradicts his own bass-ackwards thinking.

      • Jedi

        By the way, Pena is owed roughly $1.6mil plus the $5mil payment in January 2012. That means we’ll Pena will earn roughly $800k in August – so there IS harm done by keeping Pena in August, roughly $800k worth of harm (more than even the fallacious Fukudome figure of $775k which ignores that we also have to pay those two propects).

        I support saving $800k of real money by dumping Pena YESTERDAY. It’s a lot better than the fictitious “saving” of $775k from dumping Fukudome in a what amounts to a wash from a legit accounting standpoint.

      • Norm

        Saving money isn’t their priority, getting farm system players is.

      • Jedi

        It looks like the priority is hanging on to our current players until retirement.

  • I’m curious who Joe commissioned to do Katie’s cartoon avatar thing. Norm got hosed, too…looks like the artist was a child with MS Paint.

    • Joe

      Jswanson, man if you know someone that would do a better job, please let me know. I was disappointed with how they both turned out.

  • Buddy

    I still believe there will be a new GM in Chicago next year. What say you?

    • Norm

      Agree!

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      All the evidence indicates there should be a new GM. Not sure what more Hendry has to do (or not do) to convince Ricketts he’s a big part of the problem, but I hope it happens soon. No one will take the job if he leaves Hendry in there much longer.

    • Jedi

      Buddy, I hope you’re right – my fear though is that our inactivity is an indication that Hendry is expected back. If we’re not bringing him back, why let him preside over the trade deadline with a roster full of parts he’s unwilling to trade?

      In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if Hendry ISN’T coming back, he should have been fired when he started all that nonsense talk about Baker being integral to 2012. That would’ve given us plenty of time to install a new GM with a legit plan to get better by ridding ourselves of dead weight.

      • Buddy

        It could also be that they don’t want him making any major moves (unless the moves are no-brainers in the Cubs favor) because they’re planning on bringing in a new GM as soon as the season is over. In other words, riding out this mess of a baseball season without screwing things up any worse, and then moving on with a new GM at the helm. Maybe they already have a pretty good idea who this person is?

      • Jedi

        Buddy, I really hope that’s the case. I just wish we were more bullish about the implementation.

        Dave Dombrowski is one guy I hope they look at – and in line with that thinking, if they’ve targeted someone who currently has a job, I can see waiting.

        Then again, why not let Maddux run the team for the final two months of the season. He wouldn’t have the emotional attachment to some of these guys that I think has contributed to Hendry’s unwillingness to deal.

    • walterj

      i see hendry coming back . quade i think will be gone though .

      • Katie

        I’m not holding my breath. I hope he’s gone, but I don’t think Ricketts really knows what he’s doing…

      • PackerCubBull

        @Katie – The Ricketts family seems content to put up with Hendry’s SUCKAGE. When I met them last year, they were like you’re going to see a lot of results from the minors in a couple of years thanks to Hendry.

        Yeah. And pigs will fly.

      • Katie

        Like I said, I don’t think Ricketts really knows what he’s doing.

      • PackerCubBull

        At least in baseball they don’t know what they are doing. They are great in the financial sector though. Their dad founded TD Ameritrade, and Tom Ricketts is a successful bond trader.
        But they are very nice people and they tip good (at least when they get pizza delivered.)

      • Katie

        Well, they bought a baseball team. They should know how to run it before they buy it. But that’s nice that they tip good.

  • walterj

    the lack of moves just baffles me . byrd should’ve have been sent and theres no way that d lee has more value than pena . grabow couldn’t have been given away ? i just don’t get it . waiting another month to take out the trash is just going to make the house stink that much more .

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    If police procedurals and true-crime stories have taught me anything, it’s that it’s hard to make sense of how a crazy person thinks. But let’s set that aside and try to get inside the padded cell that is the mind of the Cubs’ GM.

    Imagine for a moment you are Jim Hendry, and despite what seems like good baseball and fiscal sense, you’ve kept your team intact through the trade deadline. What is your plan going forward? What’s the foundation for the roster in 2012? Which veterans do you want to hold onto? How do you plan to “rebuild?”

  • Please Mr. RIcketts get rid of Hendry. We need to start over. We have waited 103 years and we can wait a couple more but lets start from scratch its the only way to win. We have some veterans who are worth something but soon will be expensive contracts with no trade value.

    Rodolfo L

  • PackerCubBull

    I have an economics degree. Let’s look at this from an economical standpoint: Jim Hendry is not a rational person. If he is a rational person, I would like him to explain to me how the marginal benefits of keeping thee guys outweighs the marginal costs of keeping them. Only irrational people do things where the marginal costs exceed the marginal benefit.

    Ramirez said he didn’t want to be traded because he didn’t want to leave his family behind in Chicago. News flash, Jim: Another baseball team plays in Chicago, and they have more home games left than the Cubs! The White Sox also need a 3B. I would have traded him to the White Sox for Brent Morel. Ramirez won’t help the White Sox into the playoffs this year, and they will be saddled with a 16M lazy ass in 2012.

  • Buddy

    Just because July 31st has passed doesn’t mean the Cubs won’t make a deal. We may see a move or two yet.

  • PackerCubBull

    I hope Hendry puts waivers on Soriano (like he should with everyone to see what market there is, make waiver trades possible etc), and if he gets claimed, try to work something out, if not, let him go. I don’t care who claims him or what he does with his new team, even if it would be a kick in the nuts if he went to the Cardinals and started producing like he did when he got that contract. Just get rid of that albatross of a contract.

  • Jedi

    Zambrano serves up the HR to D. Lee…yuck.

    • Katie

      Derrek Lee is the man. I’m happy for him.

      • Same here…my favorite Cub for years.

      • Eddie Von White

        “We don’t need more pitching – we need good pitching.”

        Good call, Katie.

    • Eddie Von White

      Zambrano should have been the one traded last year after his antic’s in the dugout against D. Lee. Way to take it to him Derek!