Rival Front Office Member: If We’d Been Running the Cubs, the Deadline Would Have Looked Very Different

I had a sobering chat with a member of a rival front office as the trade deadline was coming to a close.

“If it was our front office you, would have seen a much different trade deadline,” he told me of what he believes his organization would have done in the Cubs’ shoes. “Pena and Marmol and Garza would all be gone, just to start. Anyone who didn’t have a no-trade clause would be on the block.”

Clearly, he was talking about a major rebuild project, but many believe that’s precisely what the Cubs’ organization needs. It may sound scary to trade someone like Matt Garza, but do you really think the Rockies, for example, are planning to suck for three years simply because they dealt Ubaldo Jimenez? No. They’re not. They simply understand that Jimenez had tremendous value in this market, and they could try and pick up several good, young players by trading one.

It’s this forward-thinking approach that seems to have eluded the Cubs for decades. As Aramis Ramirez said, “you can’t rebuild in a big market.” While that may be literally true, the Cubs’ position on what constitutes a “rebuild” has clearly been out of whack for some time. And the fans suffer for it.

Maybe Hendry is simply too nice to make the kind of hard moves necessary to turn this franchise around.

“Hendry just seems too close to his players,” the front office member told me, “and has lost sight that this is a business.”

His final words to me don’t bode well for Hendry’s future with the Cubs, but dovetail with what we’ve been hearing – and saying – for months.

“If you don’t produce wins, major changes must be made.”

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

33 responses to “Rival Front Office Member: If We’d Been Running the Cubs, the Deadline Would Have Looked Very Different”

  1. MichiganGoat

    Agreed, Hendry is too much of a player GM to make sound business decisions. Maybe there is a job in the players union for him. I’m still not sure about trading Garza, I’d have wanted more than the Rockies got, I think Garza under the right mgmt might shine and Ubaldo is a hot/cold type pitcher.

  2. Dean

    Aramis Ramirez: “You can’t rebuild in a big market.”

    Instead, the Cubs have chosen to be a perpetual expansion team.

    1. Doctor_Blair

      Agreed… Rameriz would have been right if the Cubs weren’t virtually mathematically eliminated by the all-star break. I personally thinks fans would appreciate a rebuild effort. A rebuild effort is certainly more exciting than knowing that even if the starting pitcher throws a fantastic game one or more of the following is assuridly going to happen:
      - Bats won’t show up
      - One or more run scoring errors will be allowed by the defense
      - The bullpen will give the game away

  3. Brian

    Now is the time for bold changes

    1. Joe Cartwright


      Now is “not” the time for bold changes.

  4. Cara

    The only bad thing is, the players with no-trade clauses are the ones we needed to get rid of, whereas the ones he mentioned are actually some-what worth keeping.

  5. awesome

    major changes, is Ricky the guy to make them?

  6. EQ

    Let’s not rule out the fact that Pena & ARam might still go in August… that would at least help things out.. but hey, like i’ve said, JH might be gone at season’s end and Ricketts may let the next guy make the decisions on trades this off-season..

    we need too pull for Soriano to finish hot and get close to 30hrs to end the season.. maybe some AL team will take him off our hands when we pay 75% or more of his contract.

  7. BFM

    I am not happy with the lack of movement on trade day!
    However, I can see both sides of the story. I think people are getting confused on who to trade and who is part of the future. Now i’m not suggesting the Cubs should keep everyone, however, they shouldn’t just give them away either. I am glad they kept Pena b/c there is nobody in the organization to take his place, yet. And no guarantee the Cubs will land a good first baseman in the offseason. At worst, Pena is a safety net!

    I feel that the Cubs need to keep key elements in place and build around them, not pull a “Florida Marlins” and have a fire sale.

    Keep Z, Garza, Dempster and go get another mid rotation starter.
    Keep Aramis (at a reduced salary for shorter time), Castro and Barney.
    Or move Aramis to first and go get a decent 3rd baseman if the opportunity presents itself.
    Move Soriano or Byrd. Byrd would be the easiest.
    As for the bullpen, keep Marshall, Marmol and Wood.
    Trade Grabow, and “mr. Notre Dame.

    This is not a bad team.

    In order to compete, they can’t keep bad players or have a team full of minor leaguers who are not ready.

    There needs to be leadership. Speaking of leadership, Fire Mike Quade.
    They should have signed Sandberg from the start.

    And I don’t care what sports writers say about how he turned the ship around after Piniella left. Those wins came against teams who were already out of it or playoff bound teams that were resting their stars………..poor decision on JH to hire Quade.

    This could be a good team with some good additions and vital subtractions.


    1. hardtop

      im going to pick on something else.
      “I am glad they kept Pena b/c there is nobody in the organization to take his place, yet.”
      Lehair is killing it in trip A, so we definitely have someone to replace him. He is not a long term replacement, but would work to finish off this miserable season; the 29 year old lehair would have been good enough to play on the second worst team in baseball, a team that would be lucky to play 500 ball from here on out, for a couple months. again, lehair isnt the long term answer but neither is pena. i dont know what his defense is like, but it cant be prince fielder bad or he wouldnt still be playing professional baseball, even at the minor league level. Hendry should have made this happen! somone was willing to give up something for a really good defensive first baseman who bats left and hits the long ball. im not worried who we have to replace him becasue we only had him for one year anyway.
      anywho.Does anyone know if the pirates gave anything up for d-lee?

      1. BT

        Wittenmeyer specifically said in the Sun Times today that there were no significant offers for Pena.

        1. Jeff

          And we care what the Jim Hendry lap dog says because????

  8. Toosh

    The Cubs figure to be 20 plus games out of 1st by the end of August. I wonder if Hendry will be motivated by then to get rid of some of the dead weight.

  9. Jason

    Well since the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline has passed Cubs have 2 weeks to sign any players they drafted in June. This is really important and hopefully the Cubs can keep most of their top tier draft picks !!!!

  10. BFM


    Let me clarify my “this is not a bad team” remark.

    I should have been more clear.

    When I wrote “this is not a bad team”, I was referring to the team that would be left after the Cubs dump all the junk they are carrying…..for example Soriano. I meant that after all the trades/cuts were done that I suggested, you would be left with decent team. A good foundation to build upon.

    I agree, this is a bad team!!! We are being sold a bill of goods. But instead of reinventing the wheel, the Cubs simply have to cut the junk and keep a good solid nucleus and add to it. It has happened before when JH went and got guys for the 2007 and 2008 team.

    Let’s not unload everyone who may be having an off year. Let’s have some fair evaluations and then make cuts and fill in some good missing pieces.


  11. Lalo Sanchez

    I agree that we must get rid of certain players who dont produce, Sorrano is a BUST, Dempster is falling off, Zambrano is a HEAD case, Soto hasnt done anything since his rookie year…Wood is done, Ramierz is getting older but can not lead this team. I’m tired of hoping that next year is the year, we need to make changes in upper management first… Get someone who doesn’t have ties to the players, if not we will be saying the same thing 100 yrs. from now….

  12. JB

    I don’t care if the cubs suck for the next three years I mean hell what’s another 3 years when I have been a fan for 30 just give me something to look forward to. If Castro is the future then let’s build the team to peak when he is going to. The cub teams of the later 80s and 90s seem to have a game plan as well as hendry’s earlier teams. In that time period we had 6 playoff performances and two of those teams should have been worl series teams 84 and 03. Outside of the yankees cards and redsox, that’s a pretty strong run for a baseball organization.

    Here is the big problem, dusty lost 2003 for us and people thought we were a player away as we all did. We also thought we had the three best pitchers in the game, which we did. We had a great offense but we blew it. We tried to hold on to that magic but it wasn’t meant to be. We made a strong run at it but now it’s time to rebuild much like the cubs started to do in the late 90s. In 98 our third baseman was Gary Giaetti and it took us to game 162 to make the playoffs with Sammy hitting 66.

    I guess what I am saying is that the tribune really ran this organization for today and not tomorrow. You can’t do that with any business for you are doomed to fail if that is the case. The organization needs to clean everything out and start over no sacred cows and come to the fans with that message. Keep the team cheap until they figure out what they have. Invest into their team keep ticket prices the same and say hey cub nation we have been trying to do it the quick fix way for a while and it’s not working. Come out to the ballpark and watch this team grow( the pirates strategy but the cubs will the money to keep their talent). in fact I would raid the pirates scouting department.

    I want this team to win badly but right now I don’t even watch or listen to the games. I come to this site to check in but I just don’t have time to dedicate time or resources to and organization that is run so poorly. Sorry if there are typos my phone won’t let me scroll up to proofread