Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said trading franchise stars Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Craig Kimbrel was "emotionally difficult" but "absolutely the right thing to do for the organization."
Speaking to reporters following Friday's MLB trade deadline, Hoyer said the deals will allow the Cubs to bypass a full-scale rebuild for a more accelerated process.
"We could either hold these players for two months and have them compete for a fourth-place team or do everything we could do in our power to reset our farm system and reset our organization," Hoyer said. "We accelerated that over the last 10 days or so."
The Cubs did receive a number of top prospects including outfielders Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcantara, Greg Beichman and Alexander Canario, pitchers Alexander Vizcaino, Caleb Kilian and Bailey Horn.
Hoyer also pried two Major League contributors in second baseman Nick Madrigal and reliever Codi Heuer from the Chicago White Sox in a deal for closer Craig Kimbrel.
Yet there's never a guarantee prospects will pan out. In gaining valued assets for the future, the team had to part ways with All-Stars in Bryant, Rizzo, Baez and Kimbrel.
"There's two types of currency in this game," Hoyer said. "There's prospect/talent currency and there's financial currency. The last two or three years, we were short on both. We have prospect currency and financial currency going forward."
It's a far cry from previous trade deadlines when the Cubs shipped off prospects like Eloy Jimenez, Gleybar Torres, Dylan Cease and Jorge Soler to try extending their championship window.
This time around it was the Cubs selling to help their core players win rings elsewhere and restart the process of building a contender in Chicago.
"I don't want anyone to feel like there is a lack of emotion," Hoyer said. "Did we decide as a group to not have them the last two months here? We did. But I love those guys and I hope people understand that. What we created was really special."