According to a report from Phil Rogers in the Tribune on Thursday afternoon, the Cubs could be close to signing Jim Hendry to an extension. The Seattle Mariners asked for permission to interview Hendry for their general manager position and Crane Kenney “declined to give the Mariners permission to talk” to the Cubs current GM. Hendry has until December 30th to exercise his option for the 2009 season.
The report from Rogers stated, “some within the Cubs organization has said it was uncertain whether he would exercise that option knowing he would enter a lame-duck season, either under new ownership or with the slowing moving sale clouding the franchise’s future.”
Rogers indicated the Cubs are discussing a 3-year extension with Hendry and it “could be completed soon.” With the organizational meetings starting on Sunday in Mesa, expect the official announcement to be made by the weekend. Dave Kaplan reported on Thursday night that his sources told him that the Cubs are working to announce the deal before Monday morning when the meetings officially get underway. If Jim Hendry does not receive and sign the extension, the Cubs could be without a big part of their front office in place for the off-season. Rogers mentioned if Hendry left the Cubs he could take free agents Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood with him, along with others on his current staff.
It is debatable whether Hendry deserves an extension or not, but the bottom line is while the organization is going through the sale, there must be consistency in the Cubs front office in order to make the ownership transition as seamless as possible.