That headline begs for parody (mostly food-related), but, in this instance, it’s sincere. Let’s take a brief look at Hendry’s recent statements about the immediate future of the Chicago Cubs.
“We haven’t been in any way, shape or form directed to dump money,” Hendry said yesterday. “And there’ve been years I felt the obligation was to do that. This is not that kind of year.”
That’s all well and good so long as the Ricketts plan to spend next year commensurately with the current payroll. Although they’ve made a strong commitment to spending money on the amateur side, I have my doubts that payroll will not slide again in 2012. After all, the Cubs had to structure Carlos Pena’s $10 million contract over three fiscal years for budgetary purposes. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Still, Hendry seems to have confidence that there will be money to spend next year, even if moves aren’t made to save cash right now.
“For the first time in a few years, there’s significant dollars coming off the books[, which could lead to new acquisitions]. All’s you need is your young people to keep getting better, and you make the right moves with the money that now will be available, and why couldn’t you be right back in it?”
The question remains, of course, whether it will be Hendry doing the spending.
As for whether the Cubs still might make some moves in advance of the deadline, Hendry says the Cubs stand ready, but that we should prepare for little action at the deadline.
“Maybe one or two things might happen,” Hendry said. “The goal was to move a few pieces that we knew weren’t coming back. It didn’t mean that they weren’t good players. We did what we had to do with [Kosuke Fukudome] because we needed to let [Tyler] Colvin play the majority of time
“I don’t anticipate anything significant. That could change by [Sunday’s 3 p.m. deadline] … Dominos sometimes fall differently. We’ll be prepared to be ready if something helps us, and if not, there’s nothing else you can do about it.”
So, it sounds like the Cubs might continue to work the phones on lesser pieces like John Grabow and Reed Johnson, but will not affirmatively seek out other trades. If teams come a-callin’, though, the Cubs will listen.