All of you know my stance on Hendry, so I will be completely objective here, and start out with the Genius.
GENIUS: top 5
1) Mark Grudzielanek and Erik Karros-traded Hundley and Hermansen to Dodgers
2)ARAM and Kenny Lofton (Hendry's second genius move)-traded Jose Hernandez, Matt Bruback, and Bobby Hill
3)Derrek Lee-traded Choi and a PTBNL to Marlins
4)Nomar and Murton-traded away in all Justin Jones, Alex Gonzalez, Brendan Harris, and Francis Beltran
5) a. Harden and Gaudin-traded spare parts in Gallagher, Murton, Patterson, and Donaldson
b. Chris Robinson (who?...you'll see)-I include this one as part b, because Robinson hasn't exactly panned out yet, but getting anyone breathing for Neifi---and the fact that Robinson was regarded as having significant promise at the time, was a complete heist for the Cubs
FORREST GUMP: top 5
1) Sosa-while we netted Fontenot, this was a horrible trade, because he knew of Sosa's me-first attitude, and that we could've gotten so much more if he had the foresight to trade him to the Yankees when they wanted him, and we would've had a young Soriano years ago.
2) Patterson-once an untouchable in all trades, the guy hadn't done anything in the minors, save for low-A ball success. He had decent success in 2003 before going down with the injury, but it was clear even then that he wasn't a top flight "franchise" prospect. While we netted Nate Spears, who might turn out okay, we should've traded Patterson long ago while he still had buzz around him.
3) Ceda-a 21 year old considered to possess one of the best young live arms in the game (would've included this in genius for Walker, btw), but was traded for a 30 year old Kevin freaking Gregg, who hasn't done ANYTHING in his career that's noteworthy was an error that could have HUGE consequences in the future.
4) Jerry Hairston-normally I wouldn't bitch about trading Hairston, but this was for Phil Nevin, and a month overdue when Lee went down with the wrist injury. Keep in mind, Carlos Pena was available for NOTHING at the time, and he didn't sign him.
5) Josh Hamilton-normally, I would rank this #1, but since we didn't actually have him, I've included it at #5. Here's why: at the time, we had an OF of Soriano, Jacque Jones, and the oft-injured Cliff Floyd. Jones was already on his way out pretty much after a disappointing 2006, and Floyd was, at best, a bench player. Other options were Pie, Pagan, Murton, and Ward. We all knew of Jones' horrible arm, Floyd and Ward's limited athletic ability and range, and Murton's lack of range as well. Therefore, in reality, we were playing with Soriano in LF, and would-be bench players in CF and RF.
The thing that irks me most about the Hamilton trade, is the fact that people say, "well, we didn't really have Hamilton, and the Reds selected him with our pick." That's true, but we had the FIRST PICK. Now, think about that one for a second...If Soriano was your big splash, Pie kept disappointing you with his progression in the minors, making you have visions of Patterson, and Jones had a horrible arm and a below average bat---and that's what you planned to enter spring training with, wouldn't it at least have made sense to bring in some form of competition. Everyone knew Hamilton's talent, and his production from his limited pro ball stats and hype when he was drafted. He was, at the time, regarded as the best on the board. This typifies why Hendry is a horrible GM, and why we don't draft well in the first place. When you have a guy like that on the board, with obvious holes, what's the worst that could happen? Okay, you pay the $30k claim, or whatever it is, bring him to ST, and he doesn't pan out...Boo, freaking, hoo, you lost $30k. Or, he makes the team, and reverts back to drugs...Well, it still only cost you the MLB minimum, and you move on to your "prized" prospect Pie, and give him a shot.
I don't know, I guess I'm frustrated by this guy. He's always seemed to have a horrible approach to trades and free agency. He either gets guys from franchises trying to dump salary (Pirates, A's, Marlins), or teams looking to trade supposed "bad attitude" players like Nomar, and Grudz (Grudz, if you remember,was regarded as having a bad attitude with the Dodgers). On the flip side, he either hangs onto guys like Patterson and Pie too long, or he trades top prospect guys for below average veterans (Ceda for Gregg).
He doesn't really seem to have an idea of what he's doing. Last winter, we came up with just Fukudome after he put all his time and effort in the failed acquisition of Brian Roberts. Do you really believe the crap the past few offseasons of "we signed Z, ARAM, Dempster, blah, blah, blah" Those are your own players you half-wit!!! I mean, seriously, do you think any other GM's tout their re-signings of their own players?!?! No, but Hendry and the Cubs sure do. What they neglect to tell you is it's not an significant improvement from the prior year.
Let me put this into perspective for you:
-last year, our problem was OBP and the bullpen
-he went out and signed Fukudome, transferred Dempster to the rotation, and basically called that good
-this year, our problem was lack of consistency from our 5th starter, and lack of timely hitting, bullpen inconsistencies, and power hitting from our lineup
-he went out and traded our top pitching prospect for a dreadful underachiever in Gregg, told Wood (our closer) to take a hike, and re-signed Dempster.
I think it'd be foolish to think Hendry will do anything outside of his track record. Peavy, Dunn, Randy Johnson, and re-signing Wood make all too much sense.
Think something like: Johnson (he should be so lucky) and Ibanez
This solves nothing. We have durability issues already in the rotation with Z and Harden, and adding Johnson (oft-injured the last few years), and an aging Ibanez, is NOT going to get it done.
It would make too much sense to trade a bunch of spare parts like Marshall, Hill, Cedeno, Pie, Hart, Colvin, etc. for Peavy, signing Dunn, Johnson, and Furcal, and trading Marquis, Lee, and Fukudome for whatever talent you can get to replenish the system.
It would make too much sense to solve the lead-off problem once and for all with Furcal. It'd make too much sense to solve the power issue with a proven bat in Dunn for RF. It'd make too much sense to go after McLouth to solve our CF issue. It'd make too much sense to get Peavy to protect against injuries to Z and Harden. It'd make too much sense to sign Johnson to guard against the ineffectiveness of Marquis, then have Gaudin, Guzman, or Samardzija in the wings in case he gets injured.
Here's reality (and I'm not going to look up all the numbers, because I don't have time...I'll try to be within at least 2-3 million):
=approximately $62 million for our lineup
My proposed lineup for Genius Hendry, would be:
=approximately $62 million for that lineup
Now, I realize we probably won't have enough prospects to get both McLouth and Peavy, but if we play our cards right, we should at least be able to get one of them. Lee and Fukudome are killing us right now, and I'd have to think that you could not only convince Lee to waive his no-trade, but also eat a little bit of his and Fukudome's contracts to get prospects...maybe you then either flip those prospects for McLouth, or even in the Peavy deal, or you keep them to replenish the system. It just makes almost too much sense to do this, and I hope the Cubs are at least considering a minor overhaul