So Ferguson Jenkins is still a Cub. But Cubs Randy Martz, Dick Tidrow, Pat Tabler and Scott Fletcher have become White Sox and White Sox Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar joined the Cubs in a veritable Chicago traffic jam of a trade as potential "civil war" turned into meeting of minds and exchange of a bunch of arms.
After closing the deal, the White Sox proceeded to make two more pitchers happy by leaving Jenkins be and claiming Steve Mura of the Cardinals from the compensation pool for the Yankees' signing of ex-Sox outfielder Steve Kemp. Right-hander Mura leaves a world championship team, but also escapes the doghouse to which, despite a 12-11 record, St. Louis boss Whitey Herzog kept him chained throughout playoffs and World Series.
Jenkins, Cubs' 1982 pitching leader with 14 victories and 3.15 ERA, had looked forward to remaining on the North Side to attain the 22 wins he needs to reach 300. But boss Dallas Green had gambled by exposing Jenkins to compensation draft and when the South Side Sox indicated interest, Green was in trouble, at least from a p.r. standpoint.
White Sox executive Roland Hemond took Green off the hook by picking Rudy May, then Mura, after May turned out to have veto power in his New York contract. But did Hemond play on the Cubs' concern over Jenkins to relieve Green of four players for two in a trade that, at a glance, seems rather one-sided? Right-handed starter Martz and long reliever Tidrow combined for a 19-13 record last year, to 8-9 for lefty starter Trout and righty reliever Brusstar. And Tabler and Fletcher could help solve Sox infield problems--or serve, along with a member or two of a now overloaded Sox pitching staff--in further trades: perhaps with Texas for Buddy Bell?
Whatever, Green admits, "To say I'm relieved is probably an understatement."