If any Cubs players on the trade block want some insight, teammate Matt Duffy has a history lesson on what to expect at the trade deadline.
Or, what not to expect.
“The reality is anybody can get traded,” Duffy said Saturday.
Nobody knows that better than Duffy, who, nearly five years ago to the week, told his now-fiancée on deadline day he was almost certain to remain with the Giants.
“I told her that morning,” he said Saturday, "‘There’s nearly a zero percent chance I get traded.’”
That lasted a few hours.
“Twenty minutes before the deadline, Bobby Evans called me,” Duffy said of the former Giants executive. “He’s like, ‘Hey, the Rays are asking about you.’
“He was like, ‘I want to do a prospect-driven deal, but they want big-league-ready guys.’”
Twenty minutes later, Evans called Duffy back to inform him the deal was done.
“He said, ‘Thank you for everything. You’ll be hearing from their traveling secretary, their GM, in the next half hour,’” Duffy recalled.
“And just like that, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the last thing in my mind that day.”
At least a half dozen of Duffy’s Cubs teammates know they could be traded, and another half dozen could be blindsided by a deal they don’t see coming.
“That’s what we sign up for,” said Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel, who’s been traded twice in his career and has talked about the possibility it happens again.
Kimbrel, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javy Báez are each candidates to get moved before next Friday’s deadline, along with Zach Davies, Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera.
Davies, who has also been traded twice in his career, is aware of what could happen between now and Friday.
“I know it's there,” Davies said. “I'm not naive about it, but at the same time, I still want to just win ballgames.”
Bryant, who edged out Duffy for 2015 NL Rookie of the Year voting, has been a fixture of trade rumors for several years and is one of the Cubs’ top trade chips.
“I don't think like that at all, but it could happen," Bryant said during All-Star week in Colorado. "I could be here for two days, two months, two years, 10 years. It's all up in the air.”
Duffy at least is a resource in the clubhouse for anyone who wants an experienced perspective.
“I don’t know if many guys want to get traded,” Duffy said. “What if I say you’re an accountant. In a matter of 30 minutes, your boss comes up to you and says, ‘Hey, you're going to Los Angeles. You've got to be there by tomorrow.'
"The whole family, everything, you have to find a place to stay. Everything you've known over the last X amount of time is completely uprooted. It's an uncomfortable feeling.”
And it won't go away until the trade deadline does.
“You come to the field every day, prepare yourself for a baseball game,” Duffy said. “It's kind of a cross-that-bridge-when-you-get-to-it mentality.”