It seems popular belief that Jim Hendry was an idiot for signing Alfonso Soriano to a mega-deal in 2007.
I never quite looked at it that way. Rather, I though Hendry was simply willing to take a major gamble on a player, who at the time, was very capable of helping the Cubs win a World Series.
Back to back division championships showed us Hendry wasn’t too far off base, but in typical Cubs fashion, they choked both postseason opportunities away.
For argument sake, had the Cubs won, or at least reached the World Series, Hendry would have been absolved from some, if not all of his sins, including Soriano.
But that gamble, of course, never panned out…leaving the Cubs’ GM stuck with an overpaid LF who’s better fit as a DH than an everyday outfielder.
If that makes Hendry an idiot, so be it. His risk, his responsibility. And if Hendry is fired following the season, the Soriano deal is what he’ll most likely be remembered for.
That said, I had a gut feeling Hendry would find a taker for Soriano at the trade deadline, especially following the Cubs’ decision to eat most of Fukudome’s contract.
Moving Sori would have certainly been viewed as a desperation move, but what’s to be expected from a team bumbling through the season and a GM whose job is on the line?
What the Cubs need is fresh talent, a new start, and a more flexible payroll…not an aging, injury plagued, poor fielding outfielder who’s better served as an ideal short-risk gamble at DH for an AL contender.
Eating Soriano’s contract to move him seemed very logical, but instead is a missed opportunity on Hendry’s part.
Soriano finishing the season with Chicago is yet another reminder of Hendry’s failure to turn the Cubs back into a consistent winner.
Hendry gambled early with Soriano and lost. He’s also had two years to right the ship with Soriano, but to no avail. Now he’s stuck with him, all $51M of him.
So is there any question the Cubs should take another gamble on Hendry?