Jim Hendry has a short, but important, to-do list this week at the Winter Meetings.
If Hendry completes his list, the Cubs have a good chance to contend in the Central. If not, it’s likely the Cubs stay positioned behind Cincy, St. Louis and Milwaukee.
The list includes finding a first baseman, preferably a left-handed bat, signing a No.2 or No. 3 starting pitcher, and landing a quality bullpen arm. The order doesn’t much matter because each position needs filled.
It’s a critical week for Hendry given the direction of the Cubs the past two seasons. His grace period from winning back-to-back division titles has dwindled since the signing of Milton the Terrible, Lou’s departure, and an 87-loss season.
Hendry has already stuck his neck out with the hiring of Mike Quade, but another losing campaign with one of the major’s highest payrolls is inexcusable.
A productive week at the Winter Meetings could be Hendry’s last chance to save his job.