- Dan Szymborski, ESPN Insider
If any general manager is feeling the hot seat, it's Chicago Cubs GM Jim Hendry. Hendry's tenure in Chicago hasn't been without success, with the team making two consecutive postseasons (2007-08) for the first time in the divisional era and putting together three straight winning seasons, something the team hadn't done since Leo Durocher managed in the early '70s.
The Cubs finished their 97-win 2008 season by getting swept out of the divisional series for the second straight year, and since then, the team has defied expectations -- in the wrong direction -- every season, and it's fighting with the Astros for fifth place in the National League Central.
Whether the team is run by Hendry or his successor this winter, there's a lot of money coming off the books that should provide at least a chance to right a team with enough core talent to compete in a weak division. Aramis Ramirez's contract ends at the end of the year, with absolutely no chance of having his $16 million team option picked up; their combined $30 million yearly salary of Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano ends after next year; and Carlos Pena's non-comeback year comes under a one-year contract.
Dan Szymborski examines the contract of Alfonso Soriano to see how it stacks up to other bad deals and estimates its long-term effect on the Cubs.