The Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry will be meeting with his top scouts next week to go over possible scenarios for the upcoming July 31 trade deadline. While this would seemingly have a major impact on the Cubs direction going forward, many local beat reporters are trying to lessen the severity of the looming meetings for the Cubs organization. However, for a multitude of reasons these meetings will be very significant for the Cubs long-term future. Among the topics that will likely be discussed during these meetings are the future of the Cubs prospects and when we could see Brett Jackson at the major league level, and of course, the plan of action for the Cubs in regards to the trade deadline.
Hendry may have already shown his hand on what direction the Cubs will go next month at the trade deadline. Despite all the signs–inept managing, lack of sustained success, and poor fundamentals–that the Cubs will not be able to jump back into contention, Hendry is still holding out hope. Even though the Cubs dropped their last two series, Hendry believes the Cubs are playing better and still could turn the 2011 season around.
"“It’s not as complicated as people would think,” general manager Jim Hendry said. “You want to get healthy. You want Marlon [Byrd] to come back [from the disabled list], and [Darwin] Barney, and let Mike manage a club that looks a little more like the one we broke camp with, and see how we play for a while.”Despite losing seven of their last eight series, the Cubs have played better over the last 10 days, Hendry said, citing a close loss to the New York Yankees and a crosstown series that swung each day on one or two plays.“Close doesn’t count,” he said. “But the effort’s there. We played the game better. And we’ve played better defense.” Chicago Sun-Times"
Hendry must have forgot that most of the first two months of the season, Quade was managing with a healthy roster. Not including the early injuries to Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells. But, it was not until June when the Cubs were really affected by the injury bug. Saying that Quade needs a chance to manage the Cubs when they are healthy–referring to Marlon Byrd and Darwin Barney–is not a reasonable excuse for Hendry to hold out hope for this season. Barney and Byrd were healthy for most of the first two months of the season, and the Cubs were still a bad baseball team.
In regards to the Cubs plan for the trade deadline, Hendry would not offer any direction but thinks it is too early to call the Cubs sellers.
"For now, at least no dramatic sell-off attempt by the team is in the works. And sources say even if the Cubs become sellers next month, they have no intention of moving players they believe can help them next year, indicating they don’t have a multiyear, all-youth rebuilding project anywhere in the contingency plans.Hendry wouldn’t address specific players or possible courses of action as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.“It’s no different than I would tell you a month ago,” he said. “My main objective would be to see how we do by the end of July and also make logical decisions that help the ballclub for next year, too.” Chicago Sun-Times"
I fail to see how nearly three months into the season can be viewed as too early to call the Cubs sellers this season. It seems like in each game the Cubs offer up another reason as to why they won’t contend this season and that even includes the games that they win. I get that it may not be politically correct for a general manager to to admit that a season is lost, but at the same time, a general manager is supposed to be a baseball man. The right baseball move for Hendry would be to admit that the Cubs are sellers this season and put the focus on 2012 and beyond instead of offering false hope for the 2011 season. Then again, when Hendry’s job security is questionable, that would be a dangerous move for the Cubs general manager.
For whatever reason, I have a feeling that Hendry and the Cubs front office will take the wrong approach in regards to the trade deadline. That feeling grows worse every time I hear Hendry speak. Even though the writing is on the wall that the Cubs are not going to be able to win with their current group of veterans, Hendry’s vision may only be on saving his job and not the Cubs future. If that is the case, the Cubs front office will once again be taking the wrong approach at
rebuilding improving this team, and may set the Cubs back another two or three years.