It’s no secret to the world that the Cubs are having an awful season. As of right now, the Cubs’ record is the third-worst in all of Major League Baseball. Don’t tell Cubs manager Mike Quade that, since apparently he thinks the Cubs can make a push to “compete”–a word that has been out of the franchise’s vocabulary for the entirety of the 2011 season.
At least General Manager Jim Hendry isn’t nearly as irrational as his manager, however his philosophy at the trade deadline is proving he isn’t properly evaluating his team’s talent as much as one would like. Yes, Hendry traded away Kosuke Fukudome–getting more than he would if he simply let the former Cub right fielder walk away after the end of the season–but what about other players that are garnering trade attention?
Hendry told Gordon Wittenmyer that he doesn’t want to “blow the place up and start over and do it right.” Why not?
This team, no matter how you look at it, has contributed to a .396 winning percentage. Something is very, very wrong with that, so explain to Cubs fans: why not do it right?
Hendry cites the need to win now because the Cubs are a large market franchise. The fact is that much of this Chicago team isn’t going to be productive in three years. Why isn’t Ryan Dempster on the trading block? What about Marlon Byrd, who the Braves are apparently eyeing? Why not unload Carlos Pena, who is a free agent at the end of the year? Why not trade Jeff Baker to a contender?
All of the aforementioned players are either 30 years of age or older, so what’s the point of holding on to them? Hendry’s obsession with keeping expensive veterans on the team is frustrating to say the least, and it’s why the Cubs are in their present position.
Hendry has single-handedly handcuffed the franchise with poor contract signings like Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Pena, Carlos Silva, and John Grabow. Those players have combined to make up for 44 percent of the team’s payroll this season, yet have only recouped 20 percent of their value (according to FanGraphs).