Tag:Jim Hendry
Posted on: July 23, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Gillick unequivocally denies Cubs rumors

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Pat Gillick as the next president of the struggling Chicago Cubs?

If that's the new Hall of Famer's next move, he said Saturday here at the Hall, it's news to him.

Rumors of him possibly taking charge of the Cubs after this season started a few days ago with a Chicago radio station, far as Gillick knows, and the special assistant to Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said "it's entirely not true."

"I don't know Mr. Ricketts," Gillick said of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts. "I've never even met him."

Gillick said that he thinks current Cubs general manager Jim Hendry "has done a good job. They've had a lot of injuries. I've always found Jim to be very forthright."

As for his own future, Gillick, 73, said that he will not take another general manager's job.

However, he said he would consider a potential job as a club president.

"I'll take a look at it," Gillick said. "But as far as a lateral move, I absolutely would not do it. I love my situation with the Phillies."

A former GM in Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle and Philadelphia, Gillick said that if executives were depicted on their plaques in a cap, he would choose that of the Blue Jays, where he took charge of his first big league club and cemented his reputation as one of the best in the game.

Posted on: December 18, 2009 2:54 pm
 

Cubs finally unload Milton Bradley

Pour the extra egg nog in Wrigley Field: The Chicago Cubs finally have unloaded troubled outfielder Milton Bradley, trading him to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Carlos Silva. The Cubs also will receive $9 million in cash in the deal, an official with one of the teams involved told CBSSports.com.

The trade gives Seattle the productive outfield bat it's been searching for -- the Mariners were in on free agent Jason Bay, to a degree -- and boils down to an exchange of bad contracts.

Silva is due $25 million over the next two seasons and Bradley is owed $22 million.

Of the money the Cubs will receive, $3 million is to cover the difference between the two salaries. The other $6 million will be spread over two seasons, 2010 and 2011, and essentially provide the Cubs with salary relief of the Bradley/Silva contract (whichever way you want to view it).

The money will help the Cubs "fill in the cracks", as general manager Jim Hendry puts it, as they continue building their 2010 club and recover from a bitterly disappointing '09. The Cubs' chief priorities are to find a center fielder -- Marlon Byrd, a free agent who played with Texas last summer, is one of the possibilities -- and bullpen help.

The Cubs hoped the switch-hitting Bradley would do that last summer, but he got off to a bad start and never did recover. He was aloof, got into it with manager Lou Piniella, ripped the atmosphere surrounding the team (saying he could understand why the Cubs haven't won a World Series in more than 100 years) and essentially was kicked off of the team, with Hendry sending him home before the season ended. Bradley hit .257 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 124 games for the Cubs.

Silva, meanwhile, was a colossal disappointment after signing a four-year, $48 million deal with the Mariners as a free agent following the 2007 season. He won five games in two seasons with the Mariners, averaging a tidy $4.8 million per win. The Cubs will look at him both as a fifth starter candidate and as a long relief possibility.

As for Seattle, this is one more move in a busy offseason. The Mariners this week acquired ace left-hander Cliff Lee and earlier signed free agent third baseman Chone Figgins. Bradley is expected to play left field for the Mariners.

Under GM Jack Zduriencik, the Mariners have emphasized character in their clubhouse as well as talent on the field, and the hope is that veteran Ken Griffey Jr., Figgins and the rest will provide a good enough atmosphere and example that Bradley will behave.

As for Bay, his market appears to be rapidly dwindling. The Mets have made him an offer, but Boston and now Seattle appear to have cashed out on the 32-year-old free agent outfielder.

The domino effect of that probably extends to Matt Holliday, whose odds of returning to St. Louis seem better with each passing day this winter.

Posted on: September 20, 2009 10:27 pm
 

Survivor: Milton Bradley

The next baseball team that takes a chance with Milton Bradley is, unquestionably, the stupidest team in the game.

There comes a day when a guy has to look in the mirror.

For Bradley, that day should have been, oh, like sometime back in 2002 or 2003.

The list of teams that now has chased him away numbers five: Cleveland, the Dodgers, Oakland, San Diego and the Cubs.

Five down, 25 to go.

He got into it with manager Eric Wedge in Cleveland. Engaged in a bitter public spat with Jeff Kent in Los Angeles. Turned on Oakland general manager Billy Beane. Ripped up his knee when Padres manager Bud Black tried to keep him away from an umpire (in that one, the umpire, Mike Winters, crossed the line in baiting him).

He behaved so badly in Chicago that manager Lou Piniella chased him into the clubhouse and called him a "piece of s---" earlier this summer. Then Cubs general manager Jim Hendry suspended him for the season on Sunday after his me-against-the-world comments to a suburban Chicago newspaper.

"You understand why they haven't won in 100 years here," Bradley told the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights in what should be his farewell comments to the game. "It's just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment ... It's just negativity."

The next time anybody attaches the words "stable" and "healthy" to Bradley will be a first.

He is an intelligent, articulate man.

But on good days he needs professional help, and on bad days he is a reprehensible human being.

He's out of excuses. Those chips on his shoulder? At times in the past he's expressed bitterness that he's always having to prove himself.

Well, the Cubs took that last excuse away when they signed him to the three-year, $30 million deal. It was his first multi-year contract. No more proving himself. He was valued and loved. What he owed them was hard work and gratitude.

But he couldn't even do that. And now another team is burned.

No way the Cubs can bring him back now. He's embarrassed the organization, made enemies in the clubhouse, backstabbed teammates who had his back for far too long and essentially flipped Chicago fans the middle finger.

Worst free agent contract of the year.

Now the Cubs are going to have to eat all or part of the $23 million remaining ($9 million in 2010, $13 million in 2011).

Part of it if they can find another team stupid enough to welcome a toxic player into their clubhouse.

All of it if they can't.

Good luck with that.

Likes: Playoffs starting, two weeks from Tuesday.

Dislikes: Looks like the last part of Tiger Stadium is going to be torn down on Monday. Man, that and Ernie Harwell's illness is almost too much to bear.


Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"You see the world through your cynical eyes
"You're a troubled young man I can tell
"You've got it all in the palm of your hand
"But your hand's wet with sweat and your head needs a rest
"You're foolin' yourself if you don't believe it
"You're kidding yourself if you don't believe"

-- Styx, Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

Posted on: March 17, 2009 7:48 pm
 

The Go-Go Cubs? Not quite yet

 
So Chicago manager Lou Piniella was discussing whether the Cubs can become more of a running team given the makeup of this year's club.

Piniella acknowledged that new right fielder Milton Bradley can run some but "we've got to be careful with him" given some of the leg injuries in Bradley's past.

"(Ryan) Theriot can run, and (Mike) Fontenot and (Kosuke) Fukudome can steal the occasional base," said Piniella, whose Cubs ranked eighth in the NL in steals in 2008. "But we're probably more of a first-to-third team than a stolen-base team, to me. That was one reason we added Joey Gathright.

"Are we going to lead the National League in stolen bases? I hardly think so. Unless we steal them before and after games."

Likes: Lou Piniella's sense of humor. ... Cubs general manager Jim Hendry and assistant Randy Bush, on their first trip to the Dodgers' new complex here Tuesday, unknowingly walking into the wrong dugout about 30 minutes before game-time (the teams were both back in the clubhouses) and helping themselves to the spray bottles of sunblock on a very hot day. Dani Holmes, the Cubs' media relations assistant, had to cross the field and re-direct them. "Stole some of the Dodgers' sunblock," Hendry quipped, his face all lathered up in SPF-something. ... Mixed reaction to the Camelback Ranch facility the Dodgers and White Sox are sharing. Very plush, cool architecture, good-looking copper and tan and brown buildings but just not the cozy spring training atmosphere.

Dislikes: Phoenix traffic never seems to improve.

Sunblock Day? Most definitely. Gettin' hot here in the desert. Must have been pretty darn close to 90 today.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Is it much to demand
"I want a full house and a rock and roll band
"Pens that won't run out of ink
"And cool quiet and time to think"

-- Lucinda Williams, Passionate Kisses

 

 

Posted on: January 5, 2009 5:45 pm
 

Cubs land Bradley, address left-handed problem

The Chicago Cubs have landed the left-handed bat they so badly wanted this winter, agreeing to terms with switch-hitting outfielder Milton Bradley on a three-year deal worth $30 million, CBSSports.com has learned.

Bradley is due in Chicago this week for a physical examination as one of the final hurdles to finalizing the deal. The contract is expected to be formalized later this week, possibly as early as Thursday.

The move is significant for the Cubs in that a team that breezed through the NL Central and won 97 games last summer was exposed as being too right-handed at the plate during a bitterly disappointing first-round playoff loss to Los Angeles. Dodgers pitchers feasted on the Cubs' steady stream of right-handed hitters during the three-game sweep, holding Chicago to a .240 batting average and six total runs in the three games.

Bradley, whose re-emergence in Texas last season after a significant knee injury in San Diego in 2007, batted .321 with a .436 on-base percentage and a .563 slugging percentage for the Rangers last summer. His patience and selectivity at the plate are exactly what the free-swinging Cubs need.

However, Bradley, 31, also has a checkered injury history and in this, the first multi-year deal of his career, his challenge will be to stay on the field. Among the injuries that have sent Bradley to the disabled list over his seven-year career are knee, oblique, calf, shoulders and hamstrings.

In Texas last season, after serving as the Rangers designated hitter early while recovering from knee surgery last winter, he played only 165 innings in the field.

Nevertheless, by the winter meetings in Las Vegas last month, the Cubs, scouring the market for left-handed hitters, had identified Bradley as their No. 1 target. Hendry and manager Lou Piniella both have researched the volatile Bradley extensively, checking on both his injury history and several controversial incidents in which he's been involved.

Included in those are a very public feud with second baseman Jeff Kent in Los Angeles in 2005 that forced the Dodgers to trade him that winter, a bitter public disagreement with Oakland general manager Billy Beane in 2007 and the knee injury in San Diego late in the '07 season that came when manager Bud Black was attempting to keep Bradley from charging umpire Mike Winters.

Winters was subsequently suspended by major league baseball for provoking Bradley.

In the end, the Cubs decided that Bradley is a risk well worth taking. Aside from the incident with Kent, Bradley mostly has gotten along well with teammates throughout his career and been viewed positively in his clubhouses.

And to that extent, there are those with the Cubs who believe that maybe Bradley's fierce intensity will be beneficial for a clubhouse generally viewed as nice and docile.

The Cubs plan to play Bradley in right field and move Kosuke Fukudome to center. Their hope also is that Fukudome, who faded badly following a hot start last summer, will come back strong in 2008.

Specifically, the Cubs' strength and conditioning people have given Fukudome a workout regimen to follow while he trains in Japan this winter. The club thinks that a major-league season longer than the campaign in Japan caught up to Fukudome, who was in good shape entering 2008 but, in hindsight, maybe wasn't strong enough for the duration of a 162-game season.

Posted on: December 11, 2008 1:00 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 1:56 pm
 

Cubs out of Jake Peavy talks

LAS VEGAS -- The Chicago Cubs are out of the Jake Peavy talks.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry told Padres GM Kevin Towers on Thursday morning that the Cubs have decided to do other things. Their first priority is adding a left-handed bat. Among those they're interested in on the free-agent market are Milton Bradley and Raul Ibanez. They also are investigating the possibility of adding free agent lefty pitcher Randy Johnson.

Whatever they do, it won't be Peavy.

"It was the Cubs' decision," Towers said. "They ruled it out this morning."

The Padres had constructed an elaborate deal with the Cubs that would have involved three or four teams, most likely Baltimore and Philadelphia. Other teams became involved in the talks when it became apparent that the Cubs were thinking of including infielder Mark DeRosa in the deal. Minnesota, for example, called and inquired about DeRosa -- the Twins wanted to play him at third base.

The Padres were attempting to arrange a four-, five-, or six-player package for Peavy and, among other scenarios, were talking about the possibility of acquiring Cubs third base prospect Josh Vitters, right-hander Kevin Hart, Baltimore pitcher Garret Olson and Philadelphia pitcher J.A. Happ, among others.

The Cubs were going to have to move pitcher Jason Marquis and his $9.875 million salary, and because they couldn't find another taker, he was going to go to the Padres -- but the Cubs were going to have to pick up a significant portion.

A Cubs source said that they ultimately decided it was simply too many prospects and too much money for them. The Phillies are described as being very disappointed because they were hoping to obtain infielder Mark DeRosa from the Cubs in the deal. They still could engage the Cubs in those talks, though Chicago doesn't really want to trade DeRosa.

Talks regarding Peavy have been dragging on for eight weeks or more, and the Padres have gone from being close with Atlanta to close with the Cubs to, now, apparently, being forced to huddle back in San Diego next week and discuss their alternatives.

"We'll regroup next week and figure out what we're going to do," Towers said.

There is one thing the GM is sure of.

"We need to start moving forward," Towers said. "We can't keep doing this deep into the winter."

The Padres have been searching for trade partners because they're attempting to shed payroll, and Peavy is owed $63 million over the next four years. Owner John Moores is in the middle of an ugly divorce that sources say will strap him for cash, the team lost 99 games in 2008 and attendance dropped almost 13 percent.

The long and laborious talks with Peavy have undergone several bizarre twists, most recently when the pitcher was reported to have been in a Las Vegas bar the other night singing "Go Cubs Go" after attending a Brooks and Dunn concert with his buddy, Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt. The only part of that story that I've confirmed is that Peavy indeed was in Las Vegas this week. Among other things, he attended Greg Maddux's retirement press conference.

One alternative now, he said, is to release a statement that the club will keep Peavy.

But that doesn't change the fact that the Padres need to shave payroll.

While Towers said he didn't sense from Hendry that the deal could be resurrected with the Cubs, the domino effect of what else happens on the market this winter still could take this thing in a different direction.

Atlanta on Thursday remained deep in negotiations attempting to land free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett. If he goes to the New York Yankees, though, the Braves will be forced to readjust and conceivably could re-engage the Padres.

Also, as CBSSports.com reported several weeks ago, the Los Angeles Angels held brief conversations with the Padres about Peavy several weeks ago, and sources with knowledge of the Angels' thinking say the club very well might turn its attention back to Peavy if the Angels whiff on Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia. With Sabathia having been delivered to the Yankees, the Angels so far are 0-for-1.

They could potentially satisfy the Padres with a package built around right-hander Jered Weaver, one of two infielders -- Erick Aybar or Maicer Izturis -- and a couple of prospects.

Further complicating the situation, though, is that Peavy has no-trade powers and so far has used them to attempt to steer himself toward Chicago. Several people close to the talks believe Peavy is not enamored with going to Atlanta. It is believed he may approve a deal to the Angels, though he could ask for contractual concessions. His preference is to stay in the National League.

Towers said he would probably talk to Barry Axelrod, Peavy's agent, and tell him it's not going to work with the Cubs and they'll have to move on to other alternatives.

"Even if he wants to go somewhere else, I think we need to sit down as an organization and say, 'Do we want to go through this process again?'" Towers said. "It's difficult on the fans."

Not to mention difficult on the Padres, and everyone they're dealing with.

"We're asking a lot," Towers said. "To move Jake Peavy, we would plan on getting a lot. We knew going into the winter there were no guarantees."

 


Posted on: December 8, 2008 4:18 pm
 

Towers: Peavy talks won't go past Christmas

LAS VEGAS -- San Diego general manager Kevin Towers described the Jake Peavy trade talks with the Chicago Cubs as "ongoing" during a discussion with several reporters Monday morning, then added a twist: If the Padres don't complete a Peavy deal by Christmas, they'll keep him.

"If we haven't made progress on a deal ... I don't want to go through the holidays with tons of holes and a guy who we don’t' know if we're going to move," Towers said.

As of now, the GM reiterated, he's speaking with exactly one club: The Chicago Cubs.

And in a development that should continue to keep these talks alive, GM Jim Hendry confirmed Monday that the Cubs are not a part of the bankruptcy filed by their current owner, the Tribune Co.

"All I know is I was told over the weekend that the Cubs are completely separate," Hendry said. "We're not worried. With new ownership in the next couple of (months), there have been no restrictions placed on me."

The Cubs are hoping to add a left-handed hitter, probably an outfielder, and also continue talking with the Padres regarding Peavy. They've already re-signed Ryan Dempster this winter, giving them a rotation of Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden and, for now, Jason Marquis.

A third team likely will have to be included if Peavy is to head to the Cubs. Baltimore has been involved in those discussions.

Towers said he and Hendry have talked casually since arriving at the winter meetings and have "no major sitdown (planned) as of yet."

"I know where to find him," Towers said. "And he knows where to find me. He has a couple of things he's working on. Our focus is Peavy."

For this week and next, at least. And if no deal is completed by then, Towers said, the Padres likely will announce that they will keep Peavy.

"I don't think it's fair to our fans or to our ballclub to drag this thing out for the next couple of months," Towers said.

 

Posted on: November 18, 2008 4:44 pm
 

Cubbies on the move

The Cubs didn't necessarily guarantee themselves a World Series win by re-signing Ryan Dempster on Tuesday. Depressing truth on Chicago's North Side, of course, is that the move probably didn't even guarantee them one playoff win.

But it's important to remember that, before the fall, this is a team that won 97 games last year and, as general manager Jim Hendry swings to get better this winter, bringing Dempster back so swiftly was a key move.

It frees up Hendry to set out for new business, and not worry about the old.

"A week before Thanksgiving, pitching-wise, we're in good shape compared to a lot of teams in the industry," Hendry said Tuesday afternoon.

Don't underestimate the Cubs getting pole position in the winter race to set 2009 rosters thanks to the ultra-aggressive Hendry.

Think Atlanta, which needs two starting pitchers, failed to trade for Jake Peavy and was spurned in negotiations with Dempster, isn't envious right about now?

The Yankees, who made a monstrous offer to CC Sabathia and are also chasing A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe and every other starting pitcher in Free Agent-land?

The Cubs' rotation is at least four-fifths set now with Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden and Ted Lilly. Chicago's rotation led the National League in ERA (3.75) and winning percentage (.633) in 2008, and the winning part wasn't even close.

In going 69-40, the Cubs' starters far outdistanced St. Louis' rotation (second in the NL with a .587 winning percentage, 64-45).

Now, things change, and none of this guarantees cake and ice cream in 2009. But as far as starting points, the Cubs are far ahead of most of the rest of the industry.

There is still plenty Hendry would like to do. The Cubs' never-ending quest to add a significant left-handed batter remains a high priority. Adding even more depth to the rotation would be helpful, too. The Cubs have had several conversations with San Diego about Peavy this winter, and free agent left-hander Randy Johnson sure would be a nice fit in the rotation's No. 5 slot.

Dempster, 31, was 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA for the Cubs in '08.

"It's huge for us," Hendry said. "It was such a priority. Ryan did a terrific job. He had a phenomenal season. He's as good a clubhouse guy and teammate as we've ever had here."

Hendry, who acquired Kevin Gregg from Florida last week to help strengthen the bullpen, plans to meet with assistant Randy Bush and the rest of his brain trust again on Wednesday to plot where the Cubs' next moves.

"I don't think we're ever done looking," Hendry said. "There's always ways to get better. ... I wouldn't necessarily rule out anything."

Dempster's deal is four years at a reported $52 million, and he freely acknowledged he probably took a hometown discount to stay.

"For me, it's about being somewhere you like being," Dempster said in a conference call with reporters. "It's about being somewhere you think you can win.

"For me, it's more money than we deserve to be getting, but it's the marketplace."

Here's one more glimpse at the marketplace: Dempster said he did not receive any other firm offers, but since the free agent period opened up on Friday, he named Atlanta, the Mets, the Yankees, Toronto and the Los Angeles Dodgers as some of the teams that expressed interest.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com