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Jim Hendry Trade Profile

Jim Hendry took over as the General Manager of the Cubs on July 5th, 2002.  The team was awful that year, finishing 67-95.  However, the team's Pythagorean record of 76-86 indicated better things to come.  Let's take a look at Hendry's deals over the years, and try to determine his tendencies and favorite trading partners.  He's been quite active, making 48 trades by my count.

One trend I noticed is that Hendry hasn't gotten much in return when trying to dump veterans from out-of-contention clubs.  He failed to trade Fred McGriff in '02, opting to send off Darren Lewis for Chad Hermansen at the July deadline.  That year, Hendry preferred to dump off his vets in August, ditching Tom Gordon, Jeff Fassero, and Bill Mueller for nothing of consequence.  (He later dumped many vets like Matt Lawton, Greg Maddux, Todd Hollandsworth, Phil Nevin, Scott Williamson, Todd Walker, and Neifi Perez without receiving useful players.)

Hendry's first offseason was a success.  He revamped his catching corps by getting Damian Miller and Paul Bako, and somehow managed to send off Todd Hundley for two helpful players in Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros. The Cubs netted about six wins in '03 with the acquisitions.  Hermansen was in that deal so maybe we can say Hendry acquired one useful player in a salary dump trade.

You'll notice that much of the core of the current Cubs team came from Hendry's generally fine trading skills.  He fleeced Dave Littefield for Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton in July of '03, and went back to grab Randall Simon in August.  Ramirez was only 25 at the time of the deal and had hit 34 HR as a 23 year-old.  Unbelievable that Bobby Hill could get this done.

Hendry's finest trade came in the winter of '03, when he acquired Derrek Lee for Hee Seop Choi during the Marlins' fire sale.  Choi never panned out, while Lee blossomed into a star.  Marlins GM Larry Beinfest exacted his revenge on Hendry two years later in the Juan Pierre deal - one of Hendry's few trade missteps.  Hendry surrendered useful young pitchers Ricky Nolasco, Sergio Mitre, and Renyel Pinto for Pierre.  A month after the Lee trade Hendry acquired Michael Barrett from Billy Beane for Damian Miller - another win.

The Cubs didn't give up anything too useful in their blockbuster trade of the summer of '04, acquiring Nomar Garciaparra and Matt Murton.  Even though Nomar didn't help the Cubs, they came out ahead with Murton.  Hendry has quietly gotten the better of Billy Beane and Theo Epstein.

The Sammy Sosa trade in February of '05 didn't bring the Cubs anything useful; Jerry Hairston Jr. never panned out.  But that was a salary dump, and Hendry did the best he could with a player he simply had to trade away.  A year later the Cubs couldn't stand another minute with Corey Patterson, and he became an Oriole too.  That one made Hendry look foolish.  A third trade of the same variety was made in May of '05, when Hendry sent the much-maligned LaTroy Hawkins to the Giants for Jerome Williams and David Aardsma.  That was his only "forced" type trade that resulted in useful players.

Hendry waited a while to find a replacement for the injured Lee in '06, eventually settling on a league average Phil Nevin from Texas.  The Cubs soon became sellers that year, and the best Hendry could do for Greg Maddux was Cesar Izturis.  He's generally much better as a buyer than a seller, except for the Pierre deal.

Hendry's favorite trading partners are Theo Epstein and Dave Littlefield; he's made four deals with each.  He also enjoys dealing with the Orioles' braintrust, Larry Beinfest, Dave Dombrowski, Doug Melvin, and Dan O'Dowd.  His one and only crosstown trade came this winter with the Neal Cotts-David Aardsma deal; that one's too early to call.  Click here to Download chicago_cubs_hendry.xls - Hendry's entire trading record in a spreadsheet.

While Hendry's free agency record is questionable, he comes out as a strong trader upon review.  Cubs fans should have confidence that he'll add some helpful players in July and August if the team is in the race.

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How do you figure he got the better of Theo in the Nomar deal? Do you forget it was a three way deal which netted the Red Sox Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientiewitz? While Nomar did nothing for the cubs, Orlando and Doug played key roles in turning a sinking ship into World Champions. Matt Murton would have never played in Boston anyway, look at the outfielders they have had since 04 and tell me how he cracks the lineup. Im pretty sure Theo would give up Matt Murton any day in order to win a world series.

I think Epstein could've made that deal without giving up Murton. Or, if he was intent on trading Murton, he could've waited a year, gotten more, and won another WS in 2005. Maybe they keep Murton, don't spend $70 mil on J.D. Drew, and put that money somewhere else.

I think the Trade Profile is a great idea. Very interesting read

What about the Garland/Karchner deal?

Agreed, I like these profiles. When was the deal made that sent Willis to the Fish? That sucked, I guess before Hendry then...

I totally agree that the worst move was trading three young legit pitching prospects for a one year rental of Juan Pierre.

Still, I think the Lee for Choi deal and the absolute fleecing of stealing Ramirez from the Pirates more than makes up for that.

Hendry is a good GM when it comes to trades...but putting the whole package together....I just don't see it yet. Hopefully he will work out this outfield situation.

I agree with the assessment about Hendry's trade profile, but it's not totally correct. For the most part Hendry hasn't acquire useful parts/players thru trade outside of Lee and Ramirez. But they guy of the articel forgot that the Cubs got Michael Barrett for essentially Damien Miller. And there is a prospect that Cubs got for Walker that is in the "intriguing" catergory and his name is Jose Ceda. So right now, I will say Hendry's trade ability is 50/50. But when he gets it right, he GETS IT RIGHT.

You should re-read the post, I definitely covered Barrett and all his other major trades. Ceda didn't make Baseball America's Handbook and I really don't think he intrigues anyone.

While I am not a huge Hendry fan per se, kind of disingenuous on your part to criticize him for not getting much for Hollandsworth, Nevin, Walker, and especially Neifi Perez, when all of those guys are marginal players at best these days. All you listed, with the exception of Greg Maddux, were at the lowest of the low of their value. Nobody wanted those fools; they were essentially dump jobs.

I mean, seriously, you're criticizing him for not getting much for Neifi Perez? Which GM in all of baseball would have gotten value for Neifi Perez? Getting anyone to TAKE Neifi off of the Cubs's hands AND pay his salary for 2007 is something of a miracle in and of itself. Getting a warm body in return makes it doubly so.

There is plenty to criticize Hendry over, but not getting much of value for those bums you listed (Maddux excluded) doesn't really qualify.

You want to knock him, knock him for thinking garbage like Neifi was a good idea to sign to a multi-year deal in the first place.

I kinda have to agree with brian here, while you can go into the whole Nomar trade, and Murton in that deal, fact is that trade helped the Sox, it improved them, as did getting Muellar, and the Sox won the WS.

Anytime a trade helps you win a WS, that has to be a plus.

Its not like Murton is a great great player.

Sox had no chance in 2005, frankly played above themselves to win in 2004, and that team was old, only like 2 players under 30 someone told me.

Isn't it also disingenuous to ignore the players not dumped or dumped for a pittance in '02, like McGriff, Mueller, and Gordon? Those were good, solid players with nothing in return.

It's not that he didn't get much for Neifi. It's that he traded many, many vets and we have nothing to show for it.

Yes, more of Hendry's trades are winners on paper than they are on losers on paper. But look at the results....well below par considering the budget that he has.
The reason is that he makes a lot of needless trades and gets needless players, while ignoring key weaknesses. So he wins needless trades "on paper". Sure the Ramirez and Lee trades were steals (they were obvious steals when made). But he ignored his bullpen for several years; his rotation was injured and he ignored that. He has had a poor defensive team for most of his tenure and has done nothing about it. I'd call him a below average GM, even though I agree with your assessment that he has won far more trades than he has lost.

Well, I think if you review his free agency record you'll see why he hasn't been a great GM. Lilly and Marquis have looked OK this year but he's made some questionable signings.

I don't think anyone on here is saying he is an above average GM. We are saying that he is an above average GM when it comes to trades. Putting a whole team together...thats another question. However, while the Lee and Ramirez deals might have been a "steal at the time" or whatever...its not like any other GM was pouncing on them....and nearly every one of them wishes they were. Those are two very, very good players right now.

Roto....I know that Marquis is Marquis and Lilly is Lilly...but so far, it looks like he is the only one that knew what he was doing. Yeah, they will probably come back to earth...but all you can go by is what has happened so far...and he is looking pretty smart. It might backfire later...probably will actually....but all we can go by is the results so far.

How anyone can rank Hendry as anything but a failure is beyond me. Despite a payroll well above most of the other teams in the division, the Cubs have finished lower in the standings EVERY year since 2003 (when the core of the team was a tribute to his predecessor)and a once highly ranked farm system has deteriorated under his watch. He hired Dusty Baker for an exorbitant sum and watched as Baker's abuse of the Cubs prized young arms and his distaste for discipline and fundamentals helped lead to the mess that was last season's Cubs. When the Cubs DID have a window of opportunity to contend, Hendry twiddled his thumbs and failed to patch holes like a smart GM does. Look at any independent ranking of GMs, and you'll see Hendry's name near the bottom. It's a miracle that Hendry still has his job...

Any chance you could hold off on the Schuerholtz Trade Profile until after the trade deadline? We need a couple starters and don't want the other GMs to read anything that might make them wary of getting fleeced. By the way, that Escobar kid is going to be the next Tejada and he's ready! A nice "extremely hot and under-rated prospect" profile by you would be greatly appreciated. Fax a copy to the Twins.

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