Now this is unexpectedly good news. The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a three-year, $61 million contact extension with 28-year-old outfielder Ian Happ.
Source: The Chicago Cubs have extended All-Star outfielder Ian Happ: 3 years, $61 million. No options. Deal starts in 2024.— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) April 12, 2023
According to Jesse Rogers, the deal has a full no-trade clause.
Ian Happ was the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Cincinnati. He was the ninth pick in the draft that year. He made his major-league debut in 2017 and hit 24 home runs as a rookie that season.
But Happ struggled with strikeouts after that and after a poor end to the 2018 season, the Cubs sent him to Iowa for the first part of the 2018 season. But after a late-July return back to Chicago that year, Happ became a fixture in the Cubs lineup ever since.
Last year with the Cubs, Happ hit .271/.342/.440 with 17 home runs and 72 RBI. On top of Happ’s offensive production, his defense in left had improved so much that he was awarded a Gold Glove last season.
Happ also made his first All-Star Game in 2022.
In addition, after most of the heroes of the 2016 World Series team left Chicago over the past few years, Happ emerged as a team leader. He is also one of the leading players involved in the MLB Players Association and he has been a leading advocate for the rights of players.
As Happ approached free agency, there were lots of rumors at last year’s trade deadline that he would be dealt. But no deal ever came to fruition and Happ returned for what looked like it could be his final season in Chicago this year. When Nico Hoerner reached a contract extension agreement with the Cubs in Spring Training and Happ didn’t, it seemed that there would not be one coming for Happ.
But although both sides had said that they preferred not to negotiate during the regular season, both Happ and the Cubs also said that was more of a preference than a rule. From today’s news, both sides obviously continued to talk after Opening Day, coming to a deal today.
This deal keeps Happ in Chicago through the 2026 season. He will still be eligible for free agency at age 31.
So All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder, podcaster and coffee aficionado Ian Happ will be hanging around Wrigley for quite some time now.
Ian Happ extension
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