Chicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ has been no stranger to trade rumors as he was rumored to be on the move at the Major League Baseball trade deadline last season. Happ, likely due to the fallout of the Washington Nationals' trade of Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres, remained with the Cubs after the deadline and capped the 2022 breakout season by being named as the National League Gold Glove recipient for left fielders. Happ's gold glove award was the second form of recognition for the left fielder as he also earned his first All-Star honors.
Trade rumors will continue to circle around Happ's name until he either signs a contract extension with the Cubs or reaches free agency next offseason. The Toronto Blue Jays, who had an interest in Happ at the trade deadline, created an opening in their outfield on Wednesday with a trade of All-Star Teoscar Hernandez.
While the Hernandez trade made clear sense for the Mariners, many throughout Major League baseball were curious as to why the Blue Jays would create an opening in their outfield while losing an All-Star caliber player. One theory has suggested that the Blue Jays may look to acquire a left-handed hitting outfielder in exchange for one of their f catchers.
Happ would seemingly fit the bill as he continued to be a power threat against right-handed pitchers as a left-handed hitter last season. Against right-handed pitchers last season, Happ had a slash line of .261/.339/.440/.780 to go along with 15 home runs. Given the past interest that the Blue Jays have had in Happ, it is possible that they reach out to the Cubs regarding a potential trade.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs could match on a trade this offseason.
There is no question that the Cubs should have an interest in the Blue Jays' surplus of catchers. One catcher, of note, for the Cubs, to inquire about should there be a deal discussed surrounding Happ is Alejandro Kirk.
Kirk thrived in his first full season at the Major League level with the Blue Jays in 2022. Kirk had a slash line of .285/.372/.415/.787 to go along with 15 home runs. Looking beyond the offensive numbers, Baseball Savant had Kirk in the 90th percentile last season in regard to his pitch-framing skills. At 24 years old, Kirk would represent a long-term answer for the Cubs at the catching position after likely losing Willson Contreras this offseason.