Chicago Cubs: Dusting off our overly-optimistic 2019 crystal ball

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: End of the line for Ian Happ?

Two players who may not factor in, however, are Ian Happ and Victor Caratini. While both are obviously viable major leaguers who the Cubs would be happy to go to war with, both also carry tremendous upside as trade chips. Happ in particular will have four remaining years of control and is a player with multiple tools capable of playing multiple key positions defensively. Trading a player of Happ’s ability and upside would likely net the Cubs a solid pitching prospect that can be developed as well as a lock down reliever, two assets the Cubs just don’t have a whole lot of.

The crystal ball has Happ heading to Cincinnati, along with a low level prospect or two, in return for Rasiel Iglesias and a pitching prospect. Caratini stays put, but don’t be surprised if he is shipped off for an arm or two as well.

On the pitching side, the primary need will be a lefty reliever to slot in to replace Wilson, who as a free agent surely won’t be resigned. While there are some sexy options on the market – namely one Andrew Miller – the Cubs will look internally and use Randy Rosario as that lefty specialist going into ’19. Most of the other relievers stand pat, with Iglesias filling the slot opened by the team not exercising Strop’s option. Chavez gets re-signed. Cubs turn down Kintzler’s team option, but he exercises his $5M player option.