hendry broadcast over the team website that no sale of players is coming as the july trading deadline approaches.
"I don't have a definitive way of how things will go," Hendry said. "Whenever you have problems, people assume you're going to have this fire-sale approach. What's lost in that is even if you aren't in the race at the end of July, you have to do most of your preparation for seeing what you might have and who you want to keep for next year."
Players who might be moved include those who will be free agents at year's end, such as Scott Williamson, Todd Walker or Phil Nevin. Williamson could be a hot commodity for a team looking for bullpen help, which most playoff-bound teams are.
"A lot of the people I see mentioned in trade possibilities make no sense," Hendry said. "I keep reading about [Kerry] Wood and [Mark] Prior getting traded. That would make zero sense."
With things as they are, health-wise, a trade involving either pitcher is unlikely because other teams can't be expected to swap quality for unknown quantities, and the Cubs aren't likely to jump at lowball offers.
"It's, 'Oh, gee, people will be coming after the Cubs for so and so, and so and so,'" Hendry said. "Changes are going to be made from year to year, but to think we're going to trade people just to trade people makes no sense."
"Hopefully, if trades are made from our end, they'll be done for a couple different reasons," he said. "One, to give some people opportunities who might be in the plans for next year, and two, to acquire somebody who might help you next year."
it is expected that walker, williamson and nevin would go. and this page would be hard pressed to disagree with the sentiment that wood and prior are basically worthless.
however, ryan dempster, bob howry, scott eyre, greg maddux, juan pierre and aramis ramirez are not. "trading people just to trade people"? what stupidity this is. none of these expensive relievers are going to help the cubs anytime soon -- big-money bullpens are for the winning teams that need them, not also-rans like the cubs who will not be in contention next year either. maddux has no long-term future with this team and should be dealt for whatever can be got for him -- by the time the cubs are ready to win again, maddux will have retired. pierre amounts to little more than an expensive roadblock for felix pie. and ramirez remains an excellent candidate to walk at the end of the season with the convenient clause hendry granted him.
all six of these players represent high-profile acquisitions that most any playoff-bound club would like to fortify its roster with. none of them are of material use to the cubs -- indeed, the pitching only hinders the development of the young players coming of age in iowa, who could be proving themselves out in chicago in preparation for 2008 and 2009.
moreover, they could bring in trade the kind of prospects of which the cubs have very few -- the kind by which a sickly farm system could be jump-started.
but all that has apparently been quashed in favor of yet another offseason of futile patchwork as hendry desperately flails about like a fish on the rocks trying to find the water of the playoffs before his ill-advised two-year extension is up.
hendry has increasingly struck this writer as the sort of deeply and desperately insecure person who is characterized by an irrational stubbornness in the face of criticism. hendry clearly hears the calls for change, and they are very valid ones considering the complete apoplexy of the chicago cubs. his reaction? mindless intransigence -- first with dusty baker, now with the roster.
this is too much. hendry is clearly in complete denial of just how deep and pervasive the disaster he and andy macfail have created really is, and of just how immeasurably far the chicago cubs are from being anything like successful. if there was any doubt that both he and macfail have run off the deep end into a swirling maelstrom of self-delusion, incompetence and failure, this would seem to all but settle the question. hendry is talking about patching a few holes while this club is on its way to 100 losses -- is there any surer sign that the cubs are to be an abysmal and directionless loser again in 2007?
this page has issued its plea for sensibility again and again, but for naught. the stupidity and hubris of the cub front office overwhelms all exterior calls for sensibility and patient humility. instead of making clear progress by clearing out useless chaff and unneeded veterans to make way for new growth, the cubs under macfail and hendry will only continue to wreck against the reefs.
macfail and hendry cannot be dismissed soon enough. the cubs will never amount to much while they diabolically hold court over this team.