Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Look At Hendry's Best Moves with the Cubs

Yesterday Jim Hendry's time with the Cubs came to an end. Today, let's take a look back at five of the best moves that he made during his time as the general manager.

5. Signing Ted Lilly From Hospital Bed... December 2006
One of Jim's most famous signings occurred when he finished up a deal with Ted Lilly from his hospital bed during the winter meetings prior to the 2006 season. Not only did the fact that Hendry was in the hospital make this interesting, but it turned out to be a great move. Lilly was a Bulldog who was the most consistent Cubs starter during his four year, $40 million deal.

4. Scrap Heap Pick-ups
Hendry's ability to take a change on guys like Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds helped propel the Cubs to back-to-back division titles. There were other solid signings that flew under the radar (not necessarily scrap heap pick-ups) such as Mark DeRosa, Marlon Byrd and Michael Barrett.

3. Trading Todd Hundley to Dodgers... December 2002
Many Cubs fans may not even remember this deal... but there is no doubt that it helped set up the Cubs success during the 2003 season. Hendry worked out a deal involving three big contracts that sent Todd Hundley to the Dodgers for Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros. Both Grudzie and Karros played key roles in '03.

2. Adding Derrek Lee in a Swap with Florida... November 2003
Mike Nannini and Hee-Seop Choi were sent to the Marlins for Derrek Lee, who became a fan favorite on the North Side of Chicago. D-Lee had a few great seasons and many good seasons in Cubbe Blue. Choi never panned out.

1. Acquiring Ramirez & Lofton from Pittsburgh... July 2003
There is not much debate about who won this trade. Hendry shipped Matt Bruback (who?), Jose Hernandez and a PTBNL (Bobby Hill) to the Pirates for Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez. Lofton took over for the injured Corey Patterson in centerfield and in the lead-off spot. Rami helped the Cubs to the postseason in '03 and again in '07 and '08.

Up next, we'll have Hendry's 5 worst moves in his time as GM.

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