Chicago Cubs: A controllable future
Moving toward the plans for the Chicago Cubs, it is safe to say that Ian Happ will be a part of them without issue if the team so chooses . As it stands, Happ is not set to become a free agent until 2024, and will not enter into arbitration until 2020 at the earliest.
Having these cost control measures over a guy like Ian Happ is key for big-market teams like the Chicago Cubs. With Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward and others demanding high-dollar contracts, being able to control payroll with low-cost, quality options is critical.
That rings even more true when you consider the Cubs still have five years of Darvish and multiple years of Heyward coming down the pipeline. There’s virtually no chance the latter exercises the opt-out in his deal after the 2018 campaign.
By maintaining as much control as they do over Happ, especially with how cheap his contract is (and will be), it allows the team to vest their options heading into this offseason and beyond wholly.