Having won his first career Gold Glove, and then having met with the media to discuss it, Ian Happ had occasion to be asked about his future with the Chicago Cubs.
Happ, who has one more year of arbitration in 2023 before free agency, reiterated his stance that he’s very happy with the Cubs. Nudge nudge.
“I’ve been really upfront about the fact I love it here,” Happ said, per the Tribune. “I can’t say this one thing (winning a Gold Glove) is going to be a determining factor of that, but the whole year, putting together (good stats) on the offensive and defensive side and the consistency from both sides of the plate, all those things give you a chance to be somewhere long term. And hopefully the value you generate is appreciated by everybody.”
In other words, Happ sees himself as a complete player, and at 28, you’d like to think the Cubs would want to exploring keeping him around for several more years.
“I hope so; I hope so,” Happ said of a long-term extension, per NBC Sports Chicago.
The Cubs will have to engage Happ this offseason on his 2023 contract anyway, so that will be a natural time to see if maybe a few more years can be added on. Generally speaking, you don’t sprint to lock up left fielders on long-term deals, and the Cubs do have a whole lot of outfield talent on the way in the minors. But Happ is already established as a quality bat in the middle of the lineup, and if he’s interested in signing a medium-term contract, why not take the bird in hand? And as recent injury issues for Brennen Davis and Alexander Canario reminded us, nothing on the prospect side can be taken as a certainty.
No, I don’t think you could justify giving Happ a MONSTER deal, but there might be a happy medium there. I just hope there are talks. See what’s possible. More on Happ and the Cubs’ future together here.
Otherwise, the extension conversations this offseason might be limited to Nico Hoerner, whom the Cubs should definitely be working to extend.