I am currently blogging – here, on Facebook, and on Twitter – for 24 hours straight, until slightly past MLB’s July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The plan is to do a little recap like this periodically through the day/night. Three quarters of the way in, I’d say the plan is holding pretty well.

My wife says I’m cracking up, though. Not cracking her up, you’ll note. Just cracking up. I don’t know that she’d trust me to care for the baby at this point.

Total Posts So Far: 


News and Rumors Since the Last Recap:

The big news was the Astros trading Michael Bourn to the Atlanta Braves for Jordan Schafer and three pitching prospects. Piecing reports together, that trade probably could have belonged to the Cubs, with the team sending Marlon Byrd and cash, and getting back a slightly less attractive return than Bourn netted.

Most Interesting Tidbit Since the Last Recap:

How uniformly the anti-Hendry, anti-Ricketts, and anti-Cubs position is crystalizing. I’m not terribly interested in being the voice of reason – I’m pretty frustrated – but let’s all keep in mind: we will never know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes. What if Jim Hendry is desperately trying to find deals for guys like Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd, but the offers have been terrible? If it played out that way, wouldn’t you want the Cubs to keep them, and spread rumors about how much they want to keep them?

If I were guessing, it hasn’t played out that way. My guess is Hendry has been told not to move players whom the next GM might want to keep for 2012. But, as reasonable people, we need to leave ourselves open to a number of possible explanations – some of which don’t paint Hendry/Ricketts/the Cubs as the villains we might now think they are.

Current Thoughts About the Chicago Cubs’ Trade Deadline Strategy/Execution:

At least the return for Bourn wasn’t herculean. If the Astros had gotten one of the “big four” Braves pitching prospects and some more (“more” accounting for the difference in talent value between Bourn and Marlon Byrd), they would have been collecting bits of my brain matter off of the moon for weeks.

Current Beverage/Stimulant of Choice:

Another Starbucks mocha frappuccino. I smell a sponsorship opportunity!

Strangest Thought Passing Through My Mind:

I’m more frustrated by the Cubs’ lack of movement than the lack of movement in the debt ceiling debate (sorry, ‘Meet the Press’ was just on). But I still think the folks involved in the latter problem are self-interested dongers. Those involved in the former problem are just self-interested. Not dongers, though.

Follow me? Hey, this section is for the strangest thought in my mind. So, you knew what you were getting.

(ruh roh, cracks are starting to appear in my otherwise pristine logic and prose – maybe the wife is right)

  • bazfan1234

    Brett, thanks for all the hard work and I am also getting very frustrated with the trade deadline situation. Of course, we will never know what is happening behind close doors, but to completely say someone is unavailable is silly at best. I just hope that Hendry and Ricketts truely do not believe that this team is a contender with a few small peices.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Happy to do my best. Wish there was more to cover.

      • Jeff

        You could cover all the big moves the Bears have been making with all that extra salary cap space they got this week. Oh wait, that’s not working out so well either. Hendry and Angelo must be shacked up in some opium den somewhere telling each other how great they are.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ha. I know you’re joking around, but I do wonder how much overlap there is in the fandom here. Were I better versed on the Bears (I’m an NFL fan, like the Bears, but I’m not an avid Bear fan), I might consider writing about them here on occasion.

    • Dean

      I hate to say this, but I believe that Hendry really believes this team is only a couple of pieces away. Jim Hendry may come across as a humble, good-ole-boy, but I think there is an extreme arrogance in him which allows him to think they are only a few tweaks away from being competitive.

      There are a ton of problems with targeting “competitive,” the biggest being that the top teams in the NL have further widened the gap this week.

      Also, MLB teams can make one-year turnarounds, but they don’t make turnarounds from awful (as the Cubs are) to winning a division. Looking at the Cubs as an example, in 2002 they won only 67 games, but their run differential for the full season was only 53. This year, the run differential is 116 (and growing) already. You can have a bad record and turn it around, but you have to have enough pieces that make you think you can. The Cubs just don’t have enough pieces for a one-year turnaround.

      I realize I’m rambling, but watching Hendry sit while knowing Marmol, Dempster, Byrd, Pena and Ramirez could have brought a ton in return is making me nuts.

      • VanSlaw

        while knowing Marmol, Dempster, Byrd, Pena and Ramirez could have brought a ton in return is making me nuts.

        If you have sources that enable you to “know” this, you should be writing a blog.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          In his defense, it’s been reported that Byrd could return a “haul,” and the same is logically true with respect to Ramirez and probably Marmol.

          • VanSlaw

            Ace (still getting used to “Brett”), you probably know that I’m in favor of trading Byrd right now–which I consider to be the peak of his value–as much as anyone else is. However, the prospect of getting a “haul” was one man’s tweeted conjecture and certainly not a report. Plus, he qualified his guess with “mighta.” Heyman’s stabbing in the dark there.

            We’ve heard no specific offers, so how can we know? We can get angry at the appearance of no serious discussions going on, but we can’t know that there’d be real value in return for any of these players.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I’m certainly not sticking my neck out there and saying we “know” anything. All I can do is compare Byrd to Bourn, and look at the return. Bourn is younger, faster, and plays better defense. But their OPS+ is almost identical, contracts almost identical, and Byrd has a track record of success (this is Bourn’s first decent season in four or five tries). I look at that and say the Cubs could have gotten at least half of what the Astros got. And, if they ate some more salary, maybe more than that.

              That’s a deal worth making.

              • VanSlaw

                But then the Braves would have had Byrd instead of Bourn.

                • Brian Myers

                  But the Braves really wanted a lead-off hitter, they have not had that all year long. They got their man. Of course, that doesn’t mean Byrd wouldn’t have been a fit elsewhere.

                  We actually agree (I think) but wanted to state why the Braves made the move.

                  • Jeff

                    The problem is the Braves called on Byrd when the Bourn deal was falling apart and the Cubs told them he wasn’t getting traded. That’s where the tweets about Byrd and Pena being untouchable came from last night. The Braves might have preferred Bourn, but there was a window that the Cubs could have pawned Byrd off on them for some of the same prospects. Alas, Hendry has no foresight into such matters.

                    • VanSlaw

                      If this flat refusal to deal Byrd is true, I would be very, very upset about it.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Forgive me if there’s a subtlety I missed (brain nearing jello-stasis), but… um, yes? If the Cubs had been willing to make a trade they should have made… yes?

                  • VanSlaw

                    Sorry. I’ll take into account the mushiness of the all-nighter.

                    Byrd < Bourn.

                    Braves: "Who can we get for some of our dudes?"
                    Cubs: "Marlon Byrd."
                    Astros: "Michael Bourn"
                    Braves: "Cubs who?"

                    Think of it this way: Braves fans would be saying, "Marlon Byrd? When we could have Michael Bourn? Copulate that feces!"

                    Of course, if they were looking for an outfielder with the initials M.B., there's a dude named after a company that makes boardgames that probably could be had on the cheap . . .

        • Dean

          Also, if they move Byrd ($6.5M), Marmol ($7M) and Dempster ($14M player option), they cut more than $27 million from next year’s payroll which would enable them to be more active in free agency.

  • VanSlaw

    You know what will snap you to your senses? Go outside and start blogging in the hot noonday sun.

    Hee hee. “Donger.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In a few hours, I’m sure that’s where I’ll be convinced I am.

  • Jeremy

    Keep up the good work!! Nice usage of the term “donger” or “dongers”. Cracking me up at least.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I should apply “dongers” more liberally than I presently do. It shouldn’t take sleep-deprivation to bust it out. It’s always appropriate.

  • miggy80

    I just heard were going to move Pena for Chuck Todd

  • Brian Myers

    MLB network just stated the Cubs have been looking to trade their players for starting pitching, but all they are being offered is mid-range OF talent. They feel they already have that in the organization which is why they are not hitting on trades.

  • pfk

    Lets assume for a moment that indeed Hendry has a short leash so that the next GM can make all the serious roster moves. Then, why keep Hendry at all now? If he is handcuffed and not allowed to do anything serious, they should have dumped him already so they could start their search. Randy Bush is capable of taking care of the day-to-day stuff until a new GM is found. As it is now, the search won’t begin in earnest until October and by the time they find someone or find a President who will bring in his own man, it will be deep into the off season and there may not be enough time to get a feel for the organization. Another scary assumption is that they are keeping Hendry and this is all part of their go forward plan. While I’m sure there are many things going on behind the scenes, if the Cubs are talking with others such as Pat Gillick, I think word would have leaked out by now. Yet another scenario may be that Hendry is trying to make deals but they are being vetoed. Further, it could be that they feel 2012 is a better year to get deeper into the rebuilding process because a) they don’t have a third baseman yet and Ramirez could be had for another expensive year, b) They aren’t going after Fielder or Pujols and will sign Pena to another expensive year, c) they are going to dump Soriano (even if they have to cut him because one way or another they have to pay his full salary) and have Bryrd anchor an outfield of Colvin and Jackson (or other kids). However, my gut tells me that they are going to let Ramirez walk, let Pena walk, dump Soriano and fill in as best they can knowing that 2012 isn’t a pennant year anyway and they need to dump salary and start the process. They may go after a couple of good but not superstar FA’s, keep a nucleous and use kids or trades.

  • ron

    reading yanks are looking into wandy and houston will need to eat much of the contract. if the yanks are that desparate, why not look at big z? rothchild reunion

    • Jeremy

      I just thought the exact same thing. Wandy is owed 30 mil (aside from any club option) and Z is owed a bit over 35 mil (again, aside from any club option). I think its Z’s “headline making” issues that have them the most concerned. I mean really, it’s the Yankees, money cannot be the issue.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I suspect they believe Wandy is better than Zambrano. They might be right.

      • Jeremy

        I cannot dispute that thought either. Sadly.