How do you know this isn't the most optimized return? Prior to this season Willy was a slightly above average hitter. It's clear that given the lack of interest in him that many teams aren't very fond of his defense. So, it's not like offers would have been better prior. Obviously this season his bat went off and they struggled to find acceptable offers.
As I've said in other posts people are acting like a top 75 pick in the draft doesn't hold value. It's entirely possible the cubs can get more value out of that pick then would ever have been offered to them. For example, Brennen Davis got $1.1 mil signing bonus as the 62nd overall pick. That's not far off what the cubs will likely get if willy becomes a FA and doesn't accept a QO.
Now sure you have to draft well but the same could be said about any trade. It's purely about scouting. There's tons of second round picks who've become super stars. Frankly if the offers weren't solid I'd prefer to see the cubs take their chances on drafting and developing someone they like than to sell low for guys who clearly aren't great prospects.
I acknowledge your theory to be a plausible scenario for Contreras, though I find it slightly improbable - he was a high value target for many teams heading into the deadline. And you haven't addressed the Happ sitch.
How can you say they were wrong when you have no idea what they were offered? Rightly or wrongly, they felt what they were offered was not enough to trade the players away. Only time will tell there. It's not as if the Cubs are in a financial crunch and need to shed payroll. Happ is still under control for another season. And it's not like Jed could have made Willy a lefty bat to trade away, which seems to be what was mostly being sought after.
I think you just typed a bunch of nonsense:
1. So doesn't matter if a G.M. is "right or wrong" as long as he follows his feelings? No, fuck his feelings, he gets paid for accretive transactions and he failed in this regard, this particular time. ( I am still a strong supporter overall)
2. Well of course only time will tell, we all know that, but we are analyzing the non-moves based on what we know today.
3. The Cubs balance sheet has absolutely zero to do with the Happ decision , Nothing. Nada.
4. So the rationale after the fact - though some of us knew this before the deadline - is that Contreras doesn't bat lefty?
I disagree on both counts, at least with Happ. How can you say there's never a better time if the market wasn't there this year, and the Cubs have another year of control? Besides, it's not a foregone conclusion they have to trade him.
And not standing firm means you didn't get what you felt was worth it to you. It doesn't mean you overvalued them. It means you made a decision on a minimum price that made trading the better option, and teams didn't meet it.
You have to believe Happ is at his optimal career value right now, who has faith he will stay healthy and play at this level ever again?
Also, my point regarding return trade value was that it was the FO's duty not to make a non-market valuation target, or else to get creative and cobble together a trade package. Not that hard, really.
I love the "you go with the best return the market will offer"......LOL. So, you are LA and you don't want to pay Ohtani the following season.....the best deadline offer you get is Ortega and Schwindel from the Cubs. You jump on it, right? I mean it's the best offer. You don't wait till the off season to try and get more. You take it because it doesn't really matter what the market was because it was the optimized return at this deadline. The best ROI you can get....so, you take it.
I said the best market value, and in your example the consideration for Ohtani is obviously a joke and not anywhere near equal consideration, so not sure what point you are trying to make.