Jim Hendry will no longer hold the positions of General Manager and Vice President for the Chicago Cubs. Fired from being the Cubs’ GM, Hendry ends his nine-year run with the team.
The firing actually happened on July 22nd but was kept under wraps because Hendry wanted to help the team through the July 31 trade deadline and August 15 draft pick signing deadline. With those dates passed, the team announced Hendry’s termination Friday.
Assistant general manager Randy Bush will act as interim general manager for the time being. Team chairman Tom Ricketts said the team will search for a permanent GM, primarily looking outside the organization.
In his tenure as GM, Hendry has worked with one of the highest payrolls in baseball. Despite that advantage, the Cubs have struggled on the field. Their 55-70 record this season is among the league’s worst. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008.
While Jim Hendry is leaving, the Cubs must deal with awful contracts he signed as GM. Hendry is responsible for left fielder Alfonso Soriano’s contract, which is among the worst deals in Major League Baseball. Soriano’s contract, $136 million for 8 years, pays the declining outfielder $18 million per year through 2014, when he turns 38 years old. The former Cubs GM also leaves the team responsible for a contract that pays inconsistent closer Carlos Marmol $7 million in 2012 and $9.8 million in 2013. Even a decent closer would be overpaid at those rates. Considering Marmol’s demotion from the closer position at one point this season, it’s highway robbery.
Despite these miscues as GM, Hendry did enjoy a bit of success. Under his control, the Cubs made the playoffs in 2003, 2007 and 2008. Chicago’s victory over the Atlanta Braves in the 2003 League Division Series is the only playoff series won by the team since their last World Series championship in 1908.