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Sunday, July 31, 2011
Cubs let deadline pass without another deal

By Bruce Levine

Pena
Carlos Pena drew interest from Pittsburgh, but he might be in the Cubs' plans next season.
ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Cubs dealt Kosuke Fukudome on Thursday, but didn't find another suitable deal as the trading deadline passed on Sunday afternoon. But don't count them out of making some trades through waivers in August and September.

Cubs general manager traded first baseman Derrek Lee to the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 11 and dealt infielder Mike Fontenot to the San Francisco Giants the next day.

"What we needed to do now was trade [Fukudome, who went to the Cleveland Indians for two minor leaguers]," Hendry said. "That was important because we have [Tyler] Colvin behind him who needed to play."

Hendry was working the phones up until the deadline passed, trying to move some of the players who won't be a part of the 2012 team.

"We tried to stay on top of some things today and trade some people that won't be back next year," Hendry said. "I wasn't expecting something significant to be done. But you do the best you can. I think the days are gone where trades have to be done at the deadline. The guys that we kept, for the most part, have a chance to be involved with us next year."

The Pirates expressed interest in first baseman Carlos Pena. But the Cubs, void of any real first base candidates in the minors, may want to bring Pena back next season. They also fielded calls about their relief pitchers, but they didn't feel the inclination to move what has been basically the strength of the team.

Early interest in outfielder Marlon Byrd by the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves came and went as well due to the Cubs' philosophy that they want to get better, not just to move players and dump salaries.

"I try to do what's best for the organization moving forward," Hendry said. "If you're going to get a second-tier player back in the deal and you already have that type of player in your organization, you're not really doing anything to help yourself."

If Aramis Ramirez or Pena don't return and the Cubs offer them salary arbitration when they become free agents and they sign elsewhere, the Cubs get sandwich draft picks, meaning they get a pick in between the first and second round of the June draft. For the Cubs, some of that talent coming out of high school or college may be far superior to what they receive now in trades with other teams.