Cubs will not dismantle team with trades

Cubs will not dismantle team with trades

CHICAGO -- There will be no fire sale at Wrigley Field. No white-flag deal.

The Chicago Cubs may be double-digits under .500, but general manager Jim Hendry said he won't be dumping players at the trading deadline on July 31, even if he is looking ahead to 2007.

"I don't have a definitive way of how things will go," Hendry said. "Whenever you have problems, people assume you're going to have this fire-sale approach. What's lost in that is even if you aren't in the race at the end of July, you have to do most of your preparation for seeing what you might have and who you want to keep for next year."

Players who might be moved include those who will be free agents at year's end, such as Scott Williamson, Todd Walker or Phil Nevin. Williamson could be a hot commodity for a team looking for bullpen help, which most playoff-bound teams are.

"A lot of the people I see mentioned in trade possibilities make no sense," Hendry said. "I keep reading about [Kerry] Wood and [Mark] Prior getting traded. That would make zero sense."

With things as they are, health-wise, a trade involving either pitcher is unlikely because other teams can't be expected to swap quality for unknown quantities, and the Cubs aren't likely to jump at lowball offers.

"It's, 'Oh, gee, people will be coming after the Cubs for so and so, and so and so,'" Hendry said. "Changes are going to be made from year to year, but to think we're going to trade people just to trade people makes no sense."

Because the team has fallen so far behind, Hendry's plan now shifts to 2007.

"Hopefully, if trades are made from our end, they'll be done for a couple different reasons," he said. "One, to give some people opportunities who might be in the plans for next year, and two, to acquire somebody who might help you next year."

In July 2003, Hendry acquired Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton from the Pittsburgh Pirates and added Randall Simon in August. The Cubs won the Central Division that year. This season is different.

Derrek Lee recently returned to the lineup after missing two months because of a fractured right wrist. Prior is still trying to get his timing back. Wood made four starts but had to go back on the disabled list because of crankiness with his right shoulder. The Cubs also had to go 10 games without catcher Michael Barrett while he served a suspension.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker hasn't had his full team at all this year. Hendry wants to see what they can do when whole.

"You're not going to take that chance and sign a guy for three months and trade away three good prospects," Hendry said. "You still have to make solid, logical decisions for what you want to do down the road."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.