For Hendry To Keep His Job, Cubs Need To Show Progress


Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry is a “love or hate” type of general manager in regards to the fans’ perspective. Hendry has his fair share of supporters and rightfully so. Hendry is perhaps the most successful general manager that ever ran the Chicago Cubs Hendry has made a plethora of good additions such as Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster, Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Marlon Byrd, etc. But for every Ted Lilly or Aramis Ramirez, there is a Milton Bradley or Alfonso Soriano.

Granted Hendry has not been given the most flexibility by his bosses throughout his tenure as Cubs general manager. During the final years of the Chicago Tribune ownership, many suggest that Hendry was forced to go after big name players in order to drive up the overall value of the Cubs organization. Specifically speaking, Alfonso Soriano may have been signed to add more value to the eventual deal with the Cubs new owner. I, personally, do not see that as being the case.

When the Ricketts family took over the Chicago Cubs, there continued to be rumors as to how secure Hendry’s job was with the organization. But up to this point, Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts has been very adamant that he is behind Jim Hendry 100%. However, comments made by Ricketts this past season have lead some to suggest that this will be a make or break year for Jim Hendry.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirms those rumors, as he reported today that the general consensus is that the Cubs are going to have show progress this season if Jim Hendry is going to keep his job beyond this season. In fact, Rosenthal says that the Cubs’ rocky start has fueled industry sources to begin a candidate list for possible replacements to Jim Hendry. Some of the names on the list may include current Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn, and former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes.

While Colletti is still the general manager of Dodgers through 2012, there is speculation that Major League Baseball–who are in charge of the Dodgers–would allow Colletti to speak to other teams about a possible job. Colletti is an interesting candidate, albeit, I do not think he is a likely option. Colletti likes to swing for home runs when it comes to transactions and usually always makes a run at big time players, for example, trading for Manny Ramirez during the 2008 season.

White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn is my personal favorite. Granted, I find it hard to believe the White Sox would allow Hahn to jump-ship and go to the Chicago Cubs. The White Sox can block the Cubs or any team for that matter from Hahn if they decide to part ways with Kenny Williams and name Hahn as his replacement. Rick Hahn has a respected reputation among major league baseball and many believe he would make for a good general manager.

Josh Byrnes may already be on the inside track to be the replacement to Jim Hendry. Rosenthal reported that Byrnes already has a very good relationship with Tom Ricketts. Judging by how Ricketts handled the managerial hiring, Byrnes would have a very good shot at the position if the Cubs general manager spot is open. While with the Diamondbacks, Byrnes was considered to be one of the best up and coming general managers in the league. However, he was fired in favor of Kevin Towers.

The thing that is curious to me is what type of progress do the Cubs have to show this season? While Ricketts will not say this in public, it is clear that he too feels that this is a development year for the Cubs. If that is the case, it would be hard for the Cubs to show any type of progress in regards to whether or not they are contenders.

The only fair way progress can be judged is by how the team’s top prospects are handled this season. For instance if the Cubs farm system makes strides forward by Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, etc making it to the major leagues this season then that has to be considered as progress. Which in that case, would Jim Hendry remain in place as general manager? Or, do the Cubs have to remain relevant in order for Hendry to keep his position?

What are your thoughts? Should the Cubs keep or fire Jim Hendry after the season?