The Building of the 2008 Cubs

If you are a Cubs fan you most likely know where many of the players came from. How many were acquired in a trade? How many were signed as free agents and how many were homegrown? I wanted to see for myself so I did some research and figured out where we got the 25 players on the active roster before the September call-ups.

A lot of credit is given to the players and Lou Piniella but when you look through the list below you have to give some credit to Jim Hendry. You look at the Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee trades and see us coming out well ahead. He signed Mark DeRosa which has been a great signing although many Cubs fans questioned it initially. The signing of Alfonso Soriano was a big move for the Cubs and I believe it shocked many Cubs fans. I know I was surprised when I saw it. Jim Hendry is a big reason for the team we see on the field and also for the manager we have in the dugout. I want to offer my thanks to Jim Hendry.

  • Alfonso Soriano – signed with the Cubs as a free agent on November 19, 2006 for 8-years and $136 million.
  • Ryan Theriot – drafted by the Cubs in the 3rd round of the 2001 MLB amateur draft.
  • Derrek Lee – traded to the Cubs by the Florida Marlins on November 25, 2003 for Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini.
  • Aramis Ramirez – traded to the Cubs along with Kenny Lofton by the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 23, 2003 for Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill and Matt Bruback.
  • Kosuke Fukudome – signed as a free agent from Japan on December 11, 2007 for four years and $48 million.
  • Reed Johnson – signed as a free agent on March 25, 2008 for one year at $1.3 million after he was released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Mike Fontenot – traded to the Cubs by the Baltimore Orioles as part of the trade for Sammy Sosa. The Cubs also received Jerry Hairston, Jr., who is now with the Reds, and Dave Crouthers.
  • Jim Edmonds – signed as a free agent on May 14, 2008 after he was released by the San Diego Padres the previous week.
  • Mark DeRosa – signed as a free agent on November 14, 2006 for 3-years and $13 million after playing with the Texas Rangers the previous year.
  • Geovany Soto – drafted by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2001 MLB amateur draft.
  • Henry Blanco – signed with the Cubs in December 2004 as a free agent.
  • Daryle Ward – signed with the Cubs on December 6, 2006 after playing the previous year with Atlanta and Washington.
  • Ronny Cedeno – signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cubs on August 27, 1999.
  • Ryan Dempster – signed as a free agent with the Cubs on January 21, 2004, five and a half months after having Tommy John Surgery. Was paid $300,000 in 2004 and did appear in 23 games that year.
  • Carlos Zambrano – signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cubs in 1997. He signed a five-year extension last year that runs through 2012 with an option for 2013 that could make the contract worth $110.75 million.
  • Ted Lilly – signed with the Cubs as a free agent for 4-years and $40 million in December of 2006 after playing with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2004 to 2006.
  • Rich Harden – came to the Cubs in a trade with Oakland that sent Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton and Josh Donaldson to the Athletics.
  • Jason Marquis – signed with the Cubs on December 9, 2006 for 3-years and $21 million.
  • Kerry Wood – drafted by the Cubs in the 1st round with the 4th overall pick in the 1995 MLB amateur draft.
  • Carlos Marmol – signed as an undrafted free agent in 1999. Was originally an outfielder/catcher before being converted to a pitcher in 2002.
  • Jeff Samardzija – drafted by the Cubs in the 5th round of the 2006 MLB amateur draft.
  • Neal Cotts – traded to the Cubs by the White Sox in exchange for David Aardsma and Carlos Vasquez.
  • Chad Gaudin – traded to the Cubs along with Rich Harden in exchange for Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton and Josh Donaldson.
  • Sean Marshall – drafted by the Cubs in the 6th round of the 2003 MLB amateur draft.
  • Bob Howry – signed with the Cubs as a free agent on November 28, 2005 for 3-years and $12 million.

Cubs fans know most of these moves but maybe you were like me and couldn’t remember all the players involved. A couple guys like Bobby Hill and Hee Seop Choi were supposed to have such promise when they were traded away but we obviously made good moves by letting them go. This team was assembled to try and win it all and time will tell if this team can make that happen. I found it interesting looking back at how this team was built and I hope you enjoy taking another look too.

Quote of the Day

"Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice." - Bob Proctor
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