Chicago Cubs deal Kyle Hendricks to Phillies in laughable MLB prediction

Jul 5, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks (28) throws a pitch
Jul 5, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks (28) throws a pitch / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks has not pitched in a Major League Baseball game since last July but is currently on track to return to the Major Leagues by May. When healthy, Hendricks has struggled in recent seasons as his ERA in 2021 and 2022 ballooned to over 4.70 in each season.

While none of what is mentioned above is to take away from Hendricks' legacy with the Cubs, it is meant to prove that Hendricks is an unknown commodity at this point in his career. The Cubs went about their business this offseason not depending on Hendricks being healthy for the 2023 season and that has allowed them to develop a pitching staff that could quietly be among the strongest in the National League this season.

All this to say that it wouldn't necessarily be a surprise to see the Cubs trade Hendricks this season but the reasons provided by Gordon Wittenmyer in his season preview piece for Sportsnaut are laughable.

"Most impactful deadline trade coming this July that nobody’s thinking about: Kyle Hendricks from the Chicago Cubs to the Philadelphia Phillies. The former ERA champ with big-game chops is expected back at full strength from a shoulder issue in May, and he’ll put former Cub Sam Fuld’s Phillies rotation depth over the top for the final stretch and into October. Why would the Cubs trade him? Because they’ll be out of contention, and they’ve salary-dumped, released or let walk literally every other player who helped win the 2016 championship (albeit, eventually hiring one as manager). "

Gordon Wittenmyer via Sportsnaut

Honestly, the prediction reads as a semi-retired Cubs' beat writer still hammering away his agenda for the mistakes that the Cubs' front office made since the team won the World Series in 2016. And, to some degree, I get it. Wittenmyer is writing for a site that isn't much in terms of notoriety so he has to really make these predictions stick out in order to get his dated name back out there.

Unlike recent seasons, it is a big assumption to make in that the Cubs will be out of contention by the time that the Major League Baseball trade deadline arrives this season. The Cubs have spent over $300MM in free agency this past offseason and while that hasn't made them clear postseason contenders, it has raised their floor to the point where they should at least be in the discussion for most of the season.

Next. Zach McKinstry traded to the Detroit Tigers . dark

In regard to Hendricks, what exactly is his full-strength at this point in the career? If 2021 and 2022 proved anything, it was that Major League Baseball hitters have caught up to Hendricks and his ability to throw off timing with his pitch movement. Hendricks has no trade value at this current point in time and if he does return to being an effective starting pitcher, chances are that will be one of the reasons why the Cubs will be in contention at the deadline..