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A look at Cubs trades in the expansion era: 2010

This was a VERY slow year for deals.

Blake DeWitt bats for the Cubs in September 2011
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

After the 2008 division title and a decline in 2009, Jim Hendry tried to keep the Cubs in contention in 2010. They muddled around .500 early in the year, then fell out of contention and a 16-5 loss to the Braves was Lou Piniella’s last game as manager. The Cubs had a dead-cat bounce of 24-13 under Mike Quade, getting him renewed as manager for 2011, but all in all this was not a good year.

And Hendry was not busy on the trade market. No player-for-player deals were made until the trade deadline.

July 31: Acquired Blake DeWitt, Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit from the Dodgers for Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot

The dismantling of the 2008 team began with this deal, dumping what was left of Lilly’s deal and Theriot.

At the time, DeWitt was thought of as a decent prospect, but he played just two middling years for the Cubs and batted .251/.298/.381 with nine home runs in 192 games. His mediocre defense made that worth -0.5 bWAR.

Theriot didn’t do much for the Dodgers (0.5 bWAR) but got World Series rings in St. Louis in 2011 and San Francisco in 2012.

Lilly had four decent years in L.A., posting a 3.83 ERA in 58 starts for 3.7 bWAR. The Dodgers made the postseason in his last year there (2013), the first of 11 consecutive postseason appearances, but Lilly did not pitch a playoff game for them.

The key to this deal was Wallach, son of former MLB star Tim Wallach, who the Cubs hoped to make into a decent pitcher, but that failed; he was out of the organization after 2012. His younger brother Chad has been a backup catcher for the Reds, Marlins and Angels since 2017.

August 11: Acquired Evan Crawford from the Giants for Mike Fontenot

The fun part of this trade was that it was made during a Cubs/Giants series in San Francisco, so Fontenot didn’t have to travel to get to the Giants, just switch clubhouses. He hit a two-run, pinch-hit double as his final Cubs hit in an 8-6 Cubs win August 10, didn’t play in the August 11 game, then pinch-hit for the Giants and struck out in an 8-7 Giants loss to the Cubs August 12.

As for the Cubs, they got the wrong Crawford from the Giants. Brandon Crawford was a prospect in the Giants system at the time, and he had a 13-year MLB career in which he won four Gold Gloves and two World Series rings. Evan Crawford, no relation to Brandon, never played in the majors.

This deal was not good for the Cubs.

August 18: Acquired Jeff Lorick, Robinson Lopez and Ty’Relle Harris from the Braves for Derrek Lee

D-Lee was almost 35 and on the downside of his career by the time this deal was completed, but he played well for the Braves: .287/.384/.465 with 14 doubles and three home runs in 34 games. That was good for 0.9 bWAR.

None of the players the Cubs got in this deal ever played in the major leagues. In fact, if you look back at this series and check out the Cubs/Braves deals, you’ll see that the Braves fleeced the Cubs almost every time.

It was certainly reasonable to trade D-Lee at the time, but Hendry probably could have gotten more value than those three prospects.

Overall, again, Hendry gets an F for these deals, which were the only player-for-player trades made during the calendar year of 2010. He gave up some value and got really nothing of value for the Cubs, except a bit of decent play from DeWitt.


Give the Cubs a grade for their 2010 trades.

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