"He's called me six times since the Rule 5 Draft started," said Gary Hughes, special assistant to the general manager for the Cubs and Hendry's close friend.
Hendry, 51, is resting comfortably at a local Orlando, Fla., hospital, the team said in a statement. He is expected to remain hospitalized for the next day or two.
"Was he shook up about it? No," Hughes said. "Should he have been? Yes. Will he learn a lesson? Hopefully. He's doing great. I talked to him last night, late last evening, talked to him early this morning. I talked to him six times during the Rule 5 Draft, and he's already working the phones."
Asked if Hendry was still working on possible deals, Hughes quipped, "When did he stop?" The problem has not been diagnosed as being stress-related.
On Wednesday night, agent Larry O'Brien announced that his client, free-agent pitcher Ted Lilly, and the Cubs had agreed to a four-year, $40 million deal pending a physical next week in Chicago. The deal was finalized while Hendry was in the hospital, and O'Brien said the general manager "was hooked up to the EKG machine and we got it done."
Hughes said that isn't exactly what happened.
"He was going through some kind of procedure when he closed the deal with Ted Lilly," Hughes said. "Ted had no idea where [Hendry] was -- it was business as usual."
Cubs team physician Dr. Stephen Adams recommended Hendry be hospitalized after experiencing some discomfort during the day while at the Winter Meetings. Hughes wasn't surprised that Hendry didn't let a little chest pain stop him.
"Knowing the person, I'm not at all surprised or amazed," Hughes said. "He's able to do what a lot of other people can't do -- it's amazing because he's so focused on what has to get done. The reason it took him a while to get to the hospital [Wednesday] was because he thought it was more important to worry about the Rule 5 Draft or some trade talk or whatever. His priorities were skewed."
How many people tried to get Hendry to get a checkup?
"You want a list?" Hughes said.
Hendry, who has been operating at a fast pace since the Cubs' season ended, actually experienced some discomfort Tuesday night.
"Lou Piniella and myself said, 'Let's take you to the hospital,'" Hughes said. "We were the first of many people who said, 'C'mon, let's go.' Plus, he was diagnosing himself as he went. At the end of the night [Tuesday], he was doing fine. He was tired. In the morning, there was some more discomfort. We said, 'Let's go.' He said, 'Can't, got to go to the GM meetings.' We had a doctor see him here, an internist here, and [the doctor] said, 'I'm not leaving until you're leaving with me.'"
And what was Hendry's self-diagnosis?
"Bad shrimp -- I don't know," Hughes said.
Piniella took Hendry to the hospital. Hughes and other Cubs officials have been overwhelmed by the concern from baseball people gathered at the Dolphin Hotel for the Meetings.
"He's aware that so many people in here care about him and expressed their concern," Hughes said. "He's doing great. His brother and his sister-in-law are doctors. Neither one of them are coming down. He's fine."
When can Hendry get back to work?
"He's working now," Hughes said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less