That is the motto of the Chicago Cubs "Somethings Never Change." We just heard in the past 24 hours that there is no interest in the players the Cubs are willing to trade like Soriano, Zambrano, and Grabow. We also heard that the Cubs have no interest in trading impending free agent Carlos Pena and veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd which is somewhat of a shock.
In all honesty; I am a bubbling kettle right now because of the comments from our GM Jim Hendry. Comments like "I am not going to trade anyone who can help next season" "We are only a couple of moves away from competing" and my favorite "As a big market club you cannot rebuild." In this post I will show you how idiotic and ridiculous these comments are.
First up is "I am not going to trade anyone who can help next season."
-- I will give Hendry credit for this one it would be stupid to trade players like Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Matt Garza, Chris Carpenter, etc.. but those are not the only players Jimbo is talking about. He labels Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Randy Wells, etc.. in this group? I am sorry there are dozens of Bakers, DeWitts, etc. out there right now not playing or in the minors. No reason to keep them when you can obtain prospects for anyone of them and give younger players a shot at the ML.
Next a Hendry staple "We are only a couple of moves away from competing."
--This is also true if the couple of moves are firing Hendry and Kenney and hiring competent management but he is not talking about that is he? This has been a Hendry saying since the beginning to make it sound like he knows what he is doing. The fact is he does not and is just trying to divert the problems away from him and on others.
Finally; "As a big market club you cannot rebuild."
--Seriously, no matter how bad, not even 20+ games under .500, you don't change what you are doing? First off big market teams do not end up 20+ games under .500. The premise of his argument is completely flawed! Lets look at the Red Sox and Yankees; the two biggest markets ahead of the Cubs. The last time either one of them ended the season 10 games under .500 was the Yankees in 1992 and the Red Sox in 1966! The fact is big market teams rarely are this bad and because of that his statement should result in his firing alone because he just does not get it!
To me Hendry really signed over the team when he decided not to trade the players he should have traded. Their is only a couple of reason to not trade Pena and only one of them is legitimate.
1. The Cubs are planning on extending Pena. If they do this they are already waiving the white flag on Pujols and Fielder. No excuse to extend them without courting Pena!
2. No player in minors to fill in this year for 1st or next season. Tyler Colvin and there is a guy named LaHair in AAA that is hitting .330 with 29 homers and 79 RBI. One of those guys is a nice stopgap for the rest of this season. Why the Cubs are so concerned about going into next season without a 1st baseman is beyond me. They did it last season! Even if they miss out of Fielder, Pujols, and Pena does not come back there is still guys out there on the market that can fill 1st like Nick Swisher, Lance Berkman, Micheal Cuddyer, Casey Kotchman, or even the power hitting Wily Mo Pena. I can even argue that the Cubs should sign Cuddyer regardless if they retain Pena or not! Not to mention there is a thing called the trade market. This excuse is pathetic and so are the people using it.
3. They are looking to keep Pena in their good graces and make it look like their is interest in resigning him. I can kind of understand the logic but everyone knows this is a business!
4. The Cubs were not getting enough value for him. I call BS on this, the Pirates were offering at least one top 20 prospect, one mid level, and paying half his salary.
5. The Cubs rather land a supplementary pick from him by offering arbitration and him signing elsewhere. Really gutsy call and not a good move for the Cubs.
6. Ricketts put a stop on having Hendry make any moves because he won't be making the moves this off season. This is rumored and if true I have no problem with what they did. In addition to this the rumor states Ricketts told Hendry to place all high priced vets on waivers in August and hope someone claims them. All Ricketts is looking for is salary relief for players like Z, Soriano, Grabow, Pena, etc... If this in fact is what happened I commend Ricketts for finally stepping up and smacking out into the seats.
- The Cubs are expected to put a claim on Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros are expected to seek just salary relief in return so they will let him go without player compensation. The Cubs could finally have another solid lefty in the rotation.
- The Cubs are expected to place nearly every player on waivers except the "youngsters."
- The Rangers called on Marmol and offered Chris Davis, Robbie Erlin, and Cody Buckel but the Cubs said no. Hard to turn down that trade offer.
- Ricketts really likes the idea of Brian Cashman being the next manager of the Chicago Cubs. Ricketts could pull the trigger on a new GM and manager before a new team President. A source very close to Tom Ricketts said "he finally wants a couple of his guys in here."
Until Next Time....