The Cubs on Friday began what could be the final homestand for one of the most recognizable cores in the game the last six years. MLB’s July 30 trade deadline is a week away, and the Cubs are sellers.
“With the uncertainty,” manager David Ross said pregame, “I would take every moment and appreciate the things that I think sometimes we all, not just players, take for granted.”
Three of the most recognizable faces played big roles in Friday's win, reminding fans of what the best of times have looked like the last six years. After Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo reached base in the first inning, Javy Báez drove them in with a three-run home run.
It was also a reminder of the uncertainty of the next week. The three are all are candidates to get traded.
Another player even more likely to get traded also took a starring role Friday. The biggest question surrounding Zach Davies might be whether he makes his next start in a Cubs uniform, scheduled for Wednesday, or if he's traded by then.
“I've been traded three times before, so I've gone through it already,” said Davies, who threw five scoreless innings before being charged with two runs after exiting in the sixth.
"I know what it's about. The older I get, the more you know it could happen.”
In fact, Davies was traded twice in a year. The Cubs acquired him from the Padres last winter in the Yu Darvish trade.
“We’ve got a week left before the deadline,” Davies said. “That's a week of baseball that guys could enhance their value for themselves, for the team — for whatever it may be.
“I know it's there. I'm not naive about it, but at the same time, I still want to just win ballgames.”
Had Friday’s game been closer in the late innings, you might have seen Andrew Chafin, Ryan Tepera and Craig Kimbrel, three more guys that could be gone by Friday’s deadline.
Catcher Robinson Chirinos helped ensure the Cubs wouldn’t have to use the late-inning lockdown relief trio. He hit two home runs — going 3-for-4 in his best game with the team.
Chirinos, the Cubs’ sixth backup catcher this season, would have been the type of player they would have sought if they were adding at the deadline.
But Chirinos, who's not considered a trade candidate, signed with the Cubs near the end of their 11-game losing streak. Instead, the move amounts to too little, too late.
Despite all the uncertainty, the Cubs are trying to block out the noise.
“The game is hard,” Chirinos said. “When you keep adding stuff you don’t have control of, it’s just too hard.
"My teammates and myself, we’re just having fun, trying to put good at-bats together when we hit, trying to pitch good, win every pitch, and just do what we can control, and let them do whatever they’re going to do."
Said manager David Ross: "It's really nice to be home in a situation where there's a lot of uncertainties. We should appreciate what we have here, because this place is a really special place."