2 players the Chicago Cubs should extend next, and 1 extension they should avoid

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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It was reported on Wednesday that the Chicago Cubs reached an agreement with left-fielder Ian Happ on a three-year $61 million contract extension. This deal will keep the gold-glove-winning outfielder in Chicago through his age-31 season while giving him a nice annual average value of around $20 million per year.

After Nico Hoerner's extension last month, and the regular season commenced, it looked unlikely that Happ would get paid in Chicago, but Jed Hoyer kept his word and got a deal done. Rightfully so in my opinion as Happ has been an all-around solid part of the offense - he led the team in RBIs (72), hits (155), and runs (72) last year - and the defense by taking home his first gold glove in left field in 2022. Now that the fan-favorite Happ has gotten his deal, there are others that are vying for an extension and the Cubs have the flexibility to do it with Jason Heyward's contract coming off the books after this year. Here are two guys that the Cubs should extend, and 2 they should avoid.

Extend: Marcus Stroman

The default ace of the Cubs pitching staff is sinker baller Marcus Stroman, and he has been showing why the Cubs pursued him prior to the 2022 season. In his first three starts, Stroman owns a 1.00 ERA and struck out 20 men in 18 innings. Even though he was hurt for part of last year's season, Stroman was still able to collect 138 innings with a respectable 3.50 ERA. Now that the Cubs have an elite infield with Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner up the middle, Stroman can use his sinker to induce more contact and let the guys behind him make plays. We are already seeing the fruits of what a great defense can do for Stroman, and I am totally fine with letting him stick around in Chicago even longer.

Stroman has the ability to opt out of his current deal following the 2023 season, and he will be getting paid less money should he pick up his player option. With the recent struggles of young starting pitchers Hayden Wesneski and Caleb Kilian, proven veteran pitchers are hard to come by and you need to be willing to shell out some cash to keep them around. I say let Marcus Stroman sink that sinker at Wrigley for a few more years.