How Would Kyle Hendricks React If He Were Traded?

Although I would still put myself in the “it’s really unlikely for a variety of reasons” camp, I think the discussions this week about Kyle Hendricks possibly being a trade candidate this year have been very interesting.

Jon Heyman and Patrick Mooney each recontextualized Hendricks’ value on the market – perhaps quite a bit more than we Cubs fans might think – and maybe it is possible that the Cubs could receive an offer next month that is more than a pittance. An offer that makes them seriously consider parting ways with a guy who has meant so much to the organization, and who still has it in him to be a back-of-the-rotation option in 2023, for which he is still under contract.

Here’s a question against that backdrop, though: how would Kyle Hendricks, himself, feel if he were traded right now? Certainly the last few years have to have given him pause, both about the possibilities and the direction of the organization.

NBC Sports Chicago put the question to Hendricks, who discusses the situation at length, as well as how he’s feeling right now.

Hendricks said it would be a “shock” to be traded, and he would have to take some time to process it if the move did happen. “I love everything about Chicago, man,” he said, per NBCSC. “It would take me some time to look back on everything that had happened and process all that. I’ll just have to see what comes in these next few weeks and see where we end up.”

As you would expect, Hendricks has a very even keel attitude about his boss in the weeks ahead: “I really respect that out of him,” Hendricks said of Jed Hoyer. “I respect what he does, and I have the utmost faith in his decision making and the path he’s on with us. Whatever part of that that I am, I’m just trying to take care of my part.”

Again, I still tend to think Hendricks’ value staying in the organization for the next year and a half – the performance at the back of the rotation, yes, but also the veteran leadership as more and more young pitchers come up and have things to learn – is going to outweigh the relatively small trade returns that will be offered.

I could be wrong on that latter part, and maybe I’m still underestimating how outside organizations would view the opportunity to bring in a 32-year-old pitcher with so much postseason experience, so much past success, and a clear ability to be unmoved by the big moments. And maybe the feeling from them would be that Hendricks could stabilize his own performance if he were in a new organization, and energized by a postseason race.

I don’t know. I’m fine with the Cubs exploring every avenue this summer as they consider how to best position the organization for 2023. I suppose I would just be surprised – shocked, to use Hendricks’ word – if any team out there makes the kind of truly compelling trade offer that the Cubs have to accept. The kind of offer that would make the Cubs clearly better for 2023 and beyond, rather than just keeping Hendricks.

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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