Since joining the Cubs in 2011, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have given the franchise a complete facelift.
From trading away veterans for prospects, revamping the scouting department that has struck gold with the drafting of players such as Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, and the hiring of Joe Maddon, the Cubs' front office dynamic duo has the North Siders in the thick of the National League postseason race for the first time since 2008.
With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline less than a week away, Epstein and Hoyer have the Cubs positioned as buyers, which is a far cry from how the club has spent the last few deadlines. No longer are players on the team wondering, "Who's going?" Now, the thought is, "Who's coming in?"
The Cubs (51-44) sit just a 1/2 game back of the San Francisco Giants (52-44) for the second National League wild card spot as the Giants defeated the Oakland A's late Friday night.
It won't be surprising to see the Cubs add a piece before the deadline, as they have been linked to top-line starters Cole Hamels and David Price and Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. A super utility player like Ben Zobrist could also be a fit for the Cubs given his impending free agency, veteran presence, ability to play all over the diamond and rapport with Maddon in Tampa Bay.
Regardless of what happens before the deadline, Maddon isn't going to mess with what Epstein and Hoyer have built in their four years in Chicago, opting to stay out of the trade chatter and worry about the on-the-field product.
"When we're at home it's more daily," Maddon said. "When we're on the road they kind of leave us alone which I really do appreciate. They check in when it's absolutely necessary. I spoke with them yesterday because I haven't seen them in a bit. That was an update. I don't anticipate daily updates. I don't feel like I need daily updates. I'm not that guy. I have my job to do and that's all I worry about.
"When I'm asked my opinion I give it. It's not my job to be concerned about acquisitions right now and I'm not. I'm really concerned about getting the right guys on the field today at the right time. 'How's the bullpen today? Who are we playing the next couple days? How's the lineup going to look? Who needs a rest and who doesn't need a rest?'
"Honestly, that's where my mind is at every day, plus my son is town with his family. My partner for the restaurant is in town with his family. There's all this other stuff going on too."
[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs gear right here]
Although Maddon won't be involved, he does have one piece of advice for the front office.
"The guy that you bring in, everybody else has to believe that they make you better too," Maddon said. "I've been involved on the opposite of that. Where the guy was brought in and took place of guys that had already been in place and were doing relatively well, and this other guy was coming in that wasn't accepted in a manner that blended well.
"It worked against us. From the front office perspective it was done to make us better, but I'm here to tell you that it couldn't make us any worse."