The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and the Cubs did not make a single trade today. On top of that, there was no rumors about any possible trade for the Cubs. The only rumors were how the Cubs consistently told other teams “no” when asked about the likes of Carlos Marmol, Carlos Pena, and Marlon Byrd. In addition, Bob Nightengale told a local radio station today that there has been little if any trade discussions going on between the Cubs and other teams. While the Cubs inactivity at the deadline should enrage any fan, it also may give fans a reason to be optimistic that changes are coming.
It is no secret that general manager Jim Hendry’s job status with the Cubs is in question. But the lack of any activity at the deadline may signal that chairman Tom Ricketts is preparing to make changes to the Cubs’ front office once the season is over. If Jim Hendry was not on the hot seat and he had full authority to make any trade that he saw fit, I’m sure you would have seen the likes of Marlon Byrd, Carlos Pena, and Carlos Marmol shopped if not traded for a haul of prospects that would have improved the team for the future. However, Ricketts may have already told Hendry that this will be his last season as the Cubs’ general manager, thus, the Cubs chairman told Hendry not to trade any player that the new general manager would want to retain once he takes control of the roster.
Having said that, it still would mean that the Cubs have allowed Hendry’s lame-duck status interfere with their ability to operate at the deadline and improve their team for the future. Regardless of what players the next general manager would want to retain, the Cubs missed out on several opportunities to get respectable prospects for some of their players. The Atlanta Braves traded for Michael Bourn of the Houston Astros, and gave up four prospects in the process. Among those prospects were outfielder Jordan Schafer and left handed pitcher Brett Oberholtzer. Before Bourn, the Braves were coveting Marlon Byrd, and the belief was they would have given up a similar package to acquire him. Considering that Brett Jackson is going to replace Byrd in center field sooner rather than later, it makes no sense for Hendry and the Cubs to hold on to the veteran center fielder. The same can be said about closer Carlos Marmol, who the Texas Rangers preferred over Mike Adans, but the Cubs said no.
The bottom-line is this is an embarrassing day for the Cubs. This is not just coming from a fan like myself. National writers have taken their shots at the Cubs over the course of the day, but the best may have come from George Ofman, when he tweeted:
"So just to clarify, Pirates interest in Pena, no! Braves interest in Byrd,no! Rangers interest in Marmol, no! Cubs win WS in 2012!"
Hendry will eventually speak to the media and explain why the Cubs were inactive today and why he believes the Cubs can contend in 2012. But in the end, Who Cares? The next time Hendry will say something of true importance to me will be at his farewell press conference.