Hendry pleased with Cubs' pickups

DENVER -- Cubs general manager Jim Hendry had a busy and productive day, trading lefthanded pitcher Ted Lilly and second baseman Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt and two minor-league pitching prospects.

Hendry felt the need to trade Lilly even though the organization still values his services.

“It was a good conversation. I wished him well,” Hendry said. “I think he was happy. It was one of the clubs that he would have liked to go to if he was traded.”

Hendry spoke mostly about the future and his new acquisitions, rather than to dwell on the loss of Lilly and Theriot.

The 24-year-old DeWitt will be the Cubs new starting second baseman.

“We think he’s a real solid player,” Hendry said. “We certainly liked him for years, way back when he entered professional baseball. He’s a tough kid. His better days are way ahead of him. He has a chance to be a complete player. We’re anxious to see him play that position and see how that takes us into the offseason.”

Hendry was asked about the young pitchers acquired in the deal, Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach, son of former Expos third baseman Tim Wallach.

“We really like both of them,” Hendry said. “The Smit kid is really making a lot of strides, throwing the ball very well. And Wallach is a third-round pick from just a year ago’s draft. He comes from good stock. They’re both upper-echelon prospects as to how we ranked their system.”

According to major league sources, Hendry and the Cubs were close to trading Mike Fontenot and Xavier Nady at the deadline, but that deal was never consummated.

“We had dialogues with quite a few clubs the last few days,” Hendry said. “There were all different kinds of deals. But I can’t say for certain how close things might have been today. Sometimes the deals that we were close an hour or two before the deadline are done in August.”