MESA, Ariz. - Jake Arrieta walked up to Theo Epstein, extended a fist-pound and simply said, "Nice job."
In a sense, that was the perfect way to sum up Thursday at Cubs camp.
Of course, Arrieta was talking about Dexter Fowler's return to the Cubs and the dramatic, thrilling way in which the veteran centerfielder was announced to the team before the second official day of full team workouts.
To say the move was stunning is an understatement.
In the world of Twitter, nothing is kept secret for long. Yet in this case, the reporters were just as stunned as most of the Cubs organization when Epstein and Fowler stalked across a path between two practice fields.
In one fell swoop, Epstein's front office added a leadoff hitter and centerfielder and erased a potential issue in the clubhouse - Chris Coghlan was not happy with his playing time at the end of last season and his role wasn't exactly going to expand anytime soon. (Plus, $4.8 million for a guy who figures to be a backup is a pretty hefty price tag.)
Fowler's presence means Jason Heyward can move back to his more natural position of right field and it also gives Joe Maddon's lineup a bonafide leadoff hitter, setting the table - something Fowler excels at - and lengthens the order.
We're not Maddon and there are so many things that are bound to happen before the first regular season game April 4, but as it stands right now, this could be the Cubs' lineup against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Opening Day:
1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Ben Zobrist - 2B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Kris Bryant - 3B
5. Jason Heyward - RF
6. Jorge Soler - LF
7. Kyle Schwarber - DH
8. Miguel Montero - C
9. Addison Russell - SS
Quite a bit different from the lineups Dale Sveum wrote out in the first years under Epstein's administration, eh?
Even when the Cubs move to National League games, Schwarber can catch or else he and Soler can platoon in left field. Maddon can give guys days off to keep them fresh and if there's an injury in the outfield, the Cubs now have quality options.
Maddon's message all spring so far has been for the Cubs to embrace the target on their backs as World Series favorites.
Adding Fowler to the mix only makes that target larger.
"It's not even a consideration," Epstein said. "If it is, it is. We had the chance to add a really, really good player on a one-year contract to provide talent and depth and address a potential vulnerability on the team.
"It would be irresponsible not to make that move, in my opinion, given where we are. ... Our players are embracing the target. They are completely united. They're here for the right reasons. They have one goal in mind.
"They're having a blast. It's fun to just be around this group and even more so now."
It's only February, and the 2016 Cubs have already shown a flair for the dramatic. But will the season end in drama in late October/early November?
Only time will tell.