Once the Chicago Cubs signed left fielder Ian Happ to a three-year contract extension, it seemed that the team was setting the stage for a trade involving one of their outfield prospects.
Outfield prospects litter the list of Cubs' top prospects as the team has three in Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcantara, and Owen Caissie that are not only within the Top 10 of the team's farm system but also fall within MLB's Top 100.
With Happ's three-year extension taking effect with the 2024 season, Seiya Suzuki having three years remaining on his contract, and the Cubs wanting to bring Cody Bellinger back, it would seem that at least one of Crow-Armstrong, Alcantara, or Caissie will be involved in a potential trade at some point.
That is why it should be no surprise to see what ESPN's Jesse Rogers predicted for the Cubs off-season while speaking to the "Waddle and Silvy" show on ESPN 1000. For the full quote, our friends at Bleacher Nation have the transcript of what Rogers said but the premise was that there may be a likelier chance, if not, probability, that the Cubs will make a big trade this off-season as opposed to a big free agent signing.
At some point, and yes, there is a legitimate argument that it should be this winter, the Cubs need to not only be involved with the top free agents on the market but ensure that they sign one. The expectation for the Cubs is that they make the leap from being good in 2023 and on the cusp of making the post-season to being great in 2024 with the expectation of representing the National League in the World Series.
If the Cubs are not going to spend top dollar to sign Shohei Ohtani or shy away from giving Bellinger the largest contract in franchise history, there is no question that there should be a blockbuster trade in place of that spending.