The Chicago Cubs currently have eight players on the 40-man roster who will reach free agency at the same time in 2026, making the long-term future of the team look a bit worrisome.
Although the front office has a long time to figure out this roster problem, it is a bit jarring when you look at the players on the list. Here is every Cubs player slated to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2026 season.
1. LF Ian Happ
Ian Happ has been the Cubs' everyday left fielder for several seasons now and it's hard to imagine this Cubs team without him. Although Happ struggled after his rookie season in 2017, he has carved out a nice role on this team and become a respected leader in the clubhouse.
After the Cubs opted not to trade Happ at the 2022 deadline, they worked out a contract extension last April to keep him around through the 2026 season. By that time, Happ will be entering his age 33 season and it seems unlikely for him to be given a contract by the Cubs. But between now and then, maybe we'll see Happ's power get to a place where it was once projected to be and he plays his way back.
Happ's coming off a year where he took home a gold glove and set career highs in several hitting categories including walks (99), RBI (84) and runs scored (86). Hopefully, he can build on 2023 to improve the lineup's formidability.
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