6/29 Hendry: “No fire sale”
Cubs GM Jim Hendry says there will be no fire sale at the trading deadline and that he’s looking forward to seeing the team whole once injured players like Marlon Byrd and Kerry Wood return.
“I read some things that people assume — they use the word ‘fire sale,'” Hendry said Wednesday. “That’s not going to happen. We’re not interested in trading people at all who will be valuable to us moving forward. People like to float names of your better players which makes no sense to trade. If we make moves, it will be designed to make us better for the future. We still want to see how we play the next month or so.
“Everybody thinks there’s this big automatic, ‘You have to be a buyer or seller’ or ‘It’s fire sale time,'” Hendry said. “We’ve got a lot of young people out there pitching and playing, and people who will be productive for us in a year from now who, when you get ready to put a team together in the offseason, you don’t want to start without them anyhow. As the games go, there’s less and less pitching available every year and less and less talent, for the most part. We’re certainly going to hold onto the people no matter what who we feel will be major contributors down the road.”
That said, Hendry is not content with the way the Cubs have played and expects a better situation when Byrd and Wood come off the DL.
“The bantering that goes on about how many people will be out of here [at the trading deadline] is foolish,” Hendry said. “There’s a lot of people you’re still capable of winning with down the road who are not free agents and you have control of their contracts for years that you’re not interested in trading.”
Hendry said the Cubs can turn things around in a short amount of time.
“We’ve done that before a few times and plan on doing it again,” he said. “You look at people winning now the last couple years who weren’t two or three years ago — people like Texas come to mind. Different clubs are in contention now that weren’t two or three years ago. Unfortunately, we’re on the other side.”
The Cubs began play Wednesday at 32-48.
“It’s obviously extremely disappointing,” Hendry said. “Nobody expected that. There’s no sense in going with excuses — we haven’t played good enough baseball to be in contention. When you lose a couple rotation guys, it puts us right behind the eight ball. I think we’re 8-24 in the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. That first week of the season when we saw [Randy] Wells and [Andrew] Cashner pitch like that, I don’t think those two at that point in their lives would be 8-24.”
The Cubs also have lost games started by pitchers other than the fourth and fifth starters which they should have won, he said.
“It’s kind of a snowballing effect,” Hendry said. “Now some of the guys who were not swinging in April are swinging better now. We still feel there’s a lot of baseball games. We’re not going to roll over.”
— Carrie Muskat