Will the Chicago Cubs trade Kyle Hendricks, Willson Contreras and Ian Happ?
By Bill Quinn
Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ’s performance is maddening at times
Is Ian Happ a different version of Kyle Schwarber in disguise? Other than the body type and Happ’s ability to switch hit, the two guys have a lot in common. Sure, Happ is faster and a bit more athletic in general than the now-Red Sox left fielder, but there’s something in their tools and inconsistency that just makes them maddening for such a large percentage of fans. Neither one really has a position they are great at, although Happ has had more positional flexibility, even if he doesn’t play any of them particularly well.
Happ is a tease for anyone who watches him during hot streaks like he’s currently in right now. Same could be said of Schwarbs when he was with the Cubs as well, although he’s put together a mostly consistent and phenomenal 2021 season with the Nationals and Red Sox so far. Happ’s explosive power, especially to the left-center gap as a left-handed hitter is special, his eye and command of the strike zone is excellent, and his speed on the bases is a plus. He’s also a really likable character and one of the few guys fans can cling to with all of the departures.
And yet, there’s the plummet off the cliff for large stretches with Happ that suggests he isn’t ever going to fully and consistently figure it out. It’s infuriating and seems to defy logic, but how can a guy bat .170 for a large part of the year and then all of a sudden flip a switch and look like an MVP? I like Happ, and I’m not saying I don’t want him on the Cubs, but look what a fresh start and a “kick in the pants” did for the World Series hero Schwarber.
If another club really likes what Happ brings to the table and thinks they can harness his abilities consistently, the Cubs will most definitely listen given the fact Happ’s arbitration number will be going up and that he only has two more years left of club control.