Cubs: 3 potential trade destinations for a resurgent Ian Happ

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Given the Chicago Cubs are currently an underwhelming 22-30 after 52 games, it is a foregone conclusion: Jed Hoyer will once again be fielding calls ahead of the deadline on almost everyone of value on this roster.

Pondering candidates who could wind up on the block, I can’t help but keep coming back to one of the Cubs’ longer-tenured players, Ian Happ. After mostly peaks and valleys throughout his career, Happ finished the 2021 campaign by putting up a .268/.350/.536 slash line over 235 second-half at-bats. He has followed that up nicely this year with a .252/.363/.415 mark entering action Friday afternoon, to go along with four homers and 26 RBI.

Though his power numbers are currently somewhat down – .164 ISO from a career .220, it’s important to note that his strikeout rate is down as well from 29.2 percent last year to 22.6 percent this season.

Happ sports a 159 wRC+ against righties and 102 wRC+ against southpaws. He’s also slashing an impressive .297/.404/.473 at Wrigley in 2022. But herein lies the question: given Happ’s improved consistency so far in 2022, he could conceivably be an extension candidate, as well as a trade chip.

With another year left on Happ’s contract and his recent play, his trade value has never been higher than right now. Let’s analyze three teams that could utilize Happ’s services the most.