Finally, the Cubs saw some action after all that trade talk and media speculation dominated their clubhouse for weeks, if not months.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer appeared to begin selling off parts on Monday night, with Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto saying what looked like their goodbyes in the dugout during a 14-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Soto is heading to the Texas Rangers, according to CSN Chicagos David Kaplan. Multiple reports say Johnson and left-hander Paul Maholm are going to the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs had not made any official announcements yet.
While Johnson and Soto shook hands and hugged teammates, the Cubs executives knew the clock was ticking on Ryan Dempster and Tuesdays 3 p.m. non-waiver deadline.
The Cubs will be glad when its finally over. But it would be impossible to argue that this is a team playing distracted.
You could actually see some signs of swagger, Darwin Barney flipping his bat and staring into the Pirates dugout while his three-run homer disappeared into the bleachers.
Everything inside the front office comes down to this: Is this a player you can build around or not?
Foundation pieces Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro knocked out the Pirates (58-44). Rizzo launched a missile that traveled 375 feet into the right-center field seats for his eighth homer in 28 games. Castro, showing the power the Cubs believe is in there, hammered one to straightaway center for his 10th home run.
The Cubs (43-58) are 19-10 since June 25, the day before Rizzo was promoted from Triple-A Iowa, and looking at a drastically different roster moving forward.