Throughout the Cubs six game losing streak, and most of the season general manager Jim Hendry has gone rather unnoticed. Making brief appearances here and there to announce roster moves such as Tyler Colvin being optioned to Triple A-Iowa or the trade for Rodrigo Lopez. But other than that, Hendry has been a stranger this season. Though, can you blame him. Fans have been calling for Hendry’s job since the opening month of the season and those sentiments have been only growing louder. In fact, some believe that the Cubs have reached a point of no return.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was originally in support of Hendry retaining his position as general manager of the Cubs. But, the feeling has since changed. Rosenthal suggested todaythat he can’t see any way Hendry remains the general manager heading into the off-season.
"Hendry has accomplished a lot, guiding the Cubs to three postseason appearances in his first six years and five winning seasons out of eight. The next GM will thank him for developing players such as shortstop Starlin Castro, second baseman Darwin Barneyand Double-A center fielder Brett Jackson. But the big contracts — even if Hendry awarded them at the behest of the team’s previous owner, the Tribune Co. — will be the GM’s undoing. Fox Sports"
That is what I have been saying this whole time. Regardless, whether or not Hendry wanted to, he still was the one to give Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano contracts that make them immovable. Hendry’s fascination with handing out no trade clauses have severely limited what the Cubs can do this trade deadline. It will be hard for Aramis Ramirez to waive his no trade clause, and even if he does, he still is immovable. As his 2012 contract option would automatically vest if he is traded. There is no need to even mention Soriano. No team in their right mind would touch that contract, and the Cubs are not willing to absorb a majority of his remaining salary. There is a chance that Zambrano could be traded. Though the Cubs would have to be willing to absorb a significant amount of the remaining salary on Zambrano’s contract, and also have Zambrano waive his no trade clause.
While those are only three players, those players have handcuffed what the Cubs can do for the long term future. Considering the level of difficulty it entails to trade any of those three, the Cubs will struggle to go forward with their youth movement. It should be clear to any fan at this point that the Cubs are not going anywhere until they part ways with their current group of veterans. But thanks to Hendry, that task seems nearly impossible. Meaning the likes of Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, Alberto Cabrera, and Josh Vitters will continue to be blocked from making it to the major leagues. Though, in Jackson’s case, a trade of Kosuke Fukudome figures to open up a spot for the Cubs’ top prospect. But one prospect does not nearly make up for the current failures of Hendry.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts will eventually acknowledge the fans, and fire Hendry. Until he does, the Cubs will continue to be on a downward spiral.