So what are Cubs fans going to talk about now that they can't speculate when Jeff Samardzija is going to be dealt?

While you were drinking beer this weekend and either blowing up stuff or watching other people blow up stuff, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer put on a Fourth of July show of their own that's going to be far more memorable in the long run than any fireworks display you saw.

Samardzija, along with fellow starting pitcher Jason Hammel, were dealt to the talent-rich Oakland Athletics for Addison Russell, one of the top prospects in the game, and a handful of others.

What that means for this season is Cubs tickets likely are going to be a lot easier to come by, especially with a rotation that reads like Jake Arrieta, Travis Wood and pray for something good.

This trade wasn't about the short term, though. This season was always going to be a complete wash, and only the most delusional Cubs fans thought Samardzija and Hammel would finish the season in blue pinstripes.

The sad reality is, if you're a Cubs fan, the trade deadline is your World Series, the time of year providing the most possible excitement and reason to celebrate.

This front office has earned the fan base's trust. And if history is any indication, this deal could signal better days ahead at Clark and Addison.

One only has to go back to last season, when the Cubs dealt starters Scott Feldman and Matt Garza before the trade deadline. In return, Baltimore and Texas gave the Cubs their new ace (Arrieta), three of their top relievers (Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and Pedro Strop), their starting third baseman (Mike Olt) and one of their top pitching prospects (C.J. Edwards).

All the aforementioned players are going to be Cubs for years to come, and all have—by all accounts—bright futures. That's a hell of a haul in exchange for a couple of pitchers who never factored into the Cubs' long-term plans.

Hope is a spring that runs eternal in Wrigleyville, promising better days ahead than those suffered in years gone by. It's how the Cubs have made money for years. And for the first time in a long time, there's reason to believe those halcyon dreams won't be haunted by the ghosts of front offices past.

Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.

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