One MLB executive thinks the Chicago Cubs should trade Kyle Schwarber to make room for Ian Happ. While Happ has potential, this idea is simply ridiculous.
Thursday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports published an article with news and notes on every National League team. Of the nine points included about the Chicago Cubs, one stood out more than the others.
According to Heyman, a front office executive from a rival team thinks that the Cubs should trade Kyle Schwarber. This unnamed executive thinks Cubs’ prospect Ian Happ is good enough to replace Schwarber in left field right now. Because of this, he thinks trading Schwarber to the American League is something for the Cubs to consider.
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Even though everyone is entitled to their own opinion, this idea is ridiculous on many levels. Happ has shown how talented he is in Spring Training this year, hitting .383 in 60 at-bats. To me, the idea is not ridiculous because of Happ’s talent level. Rather, it’s ridiculous because of how good Schwarber is and can be.
Despite being a natural catcher, Schwarber will be the Cubs’ primary left fielder this season. Because he is “out of position,” there are doubts as to whether he can be even an average outfielder. If the Cubs traded him to an AL team, Schwarber could DH and catch on occasion.
Because he could DH if traded to an AL team, the executive in Heyman’s story isn’t crazy by any means. If the Cubs did trade Schwarber, they’d surely get a great package of players back in return for the young slugger. This does not mean the trade would be a good idea, however.
“One rival executive says Happ’s so good the Cubs should put him in left and trade Schwarber to an AL team” -Jon Heyman
Trading Schwarber now makes little sense
In 2015, Schwarber hit 16 home runs in just 69 games. Despite playing just two games in 2016 (the first two regular season games), he hit .412 in the World Series. Essentially, Schwarber has shown he can be an elite hitter even if he ends up being a subpar outfielder.
Ultimately, trading Schwarber is a ridiculous idea because he has not played a full big league season yet. Based on his 2015 season, Schwarber could hit close to 40 home runs if he can stay healthy. While Happ might be the more “natural” outfielder of the two, giving away a young 40-home run player seems crazy.
If the Cubs did trade Schwarber, Happ could struggle in some facet as his replacement. If Schwarber were several years older and at the end of his contract, a trade would make sense. Trading him at such a young age to make room for someone else simply is preposterous.
At some point, the Cubs will either promote Happ to the big leagues or trade him away presumably for young pitching. Until then, there is no logic in handing away a young, talented player like Schwarber just to get Happ on the roster.