Reed Johnson already had scored twice, his Cubs were romping and he was set to bat again at Wrigley Field.
Instead of heading to the plate, the outfielder was pulled for a pinch hitter and told to start packing - he was going to Atlanta.
Several contenders got a head start on the trade deadline by making deals Monday night. The Braves acquired Johnson and pitcher Paul Maholm from Chicago while the Los Angeles Dodgers obtained former All-Star reliever Brandon League from Seattle.
Cubs ace Ryan Dempster remained the big prize, and batterymate Geovany Soto seemed on his way to Texas. Clubs have until 4 p.m. EDT to complete trades without waivers.
''There will be a lot of calls. Whether we're going to make other deals, we'll see. But I know there will be a lot of phone calls,'' Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. ''I don't think tonight is going to be one with a lot of sleep.''
Toronto is among 17 teams in the majors that either leads a division or is within five games of a wild-c...