SAN DIEGO -- I'll never forget sitting inside manager Jeff Torborg's spring training office at Space Coast Stadium in March of '02 and listening to Larry Beinfest announce his first major trade as the Marlins' new general manager: rhp Matt Clement and rhp Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs for rhp Julian Tavarez, c Ryan Jorgensen, rhp Jose Cueto and a throw-in minor-league pitcher, lhp Dontrelle Willis.
Torborg looked as if he wanted to pass out as he tried to digest details of the trade, one in which Beinfest first uttered the phrase "payroll flexibility" to describe what was, in fact, a salary dump. The trade turned out to be one of the best deals in Beinfests' stewardship. Willis, to the surprise of even the Marlins, blossomed into an unexpected star.
The man on the other end of that deal was Jim Hendry, who later took some crticism for what was one of his first defining moves as Cubs GM. The enigmatic Willis, after all, was instrumental for the Marlins in their '03 World Series run, one that included a NCLS victory over the Cubs.
Beinfest and Hendry would hook up for more big deals over the years. There will be no more. The underperforming Cubs announced Hendry's dismissal on Friday.
Take a look at the following four trades between the two men:
March 27, 2002 -- Marlins trade Clement and Alfonseca to the Cubs for Tavarez, Jorgense, Cueto and Willis.
Nov. 25, 2003 -- Marlins trade 1b Derrek Lee to the Cubs for 1b Hee Seop Choi and a player to be named later (rhp Mike Nannini).
Dec. 7, 2005 -- Marlins trade of Juan Pierre to the Cubs for rhp Ricky Nolasco, rhp Sergio Mitre and lhp Renyel Pinto.
Nov. 13, 2008 -- Marlins trade rhp Kevin Gregg to the Cubs for rhp Jose Ceda.
Who were the winners and the losers in those Beinfest/Hendry deals?