Ian Happ Among Chicago Cubs’ Young Stars That Could Be Dealt

Would the Chicago Cubs consider trading Ian Happ for pitching? Happ, the Cubs’ young star outfielder, is one of a few names being bandied about in MLB trade rumors involving the team. The Cubs may look to test the MLB trade market in an effort to gauge, not only the overall interest in some of their young stars but what they can get in return for them.

The Chicago Cubs have a few roster decisions they have to make. There is a contingent of people who believe that the Cubs attempt to re-sign pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis. If the Cubs decide to go in that direction, it could prove costly. It allows for the discussion regarding what the Cubs should do with some of their young stars.

Outfielder Ian Happ has been linked to a few MLB trade rumors in recent weeks. According to the Chicago Tribune, Happ, among others, could give the Cubs a great return in an MLB trade. Ian Happ is joined on the list by Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Albert Almora Jr., and Javier Baez.

Of those young Cubs’ stars, Ian Happ presents an interesting case for a potential MLB trade due to his solid rookie season.

Ian Happ reacts to striking out.
Ian Happ did have solid power numbers for the Chicago Cubs in his rookie season. [Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]

In his first season with the Cubs, Ian Happ finished with 24 home runs, 68 RBI, and an OPS of 0.842. Happ’s power numbers reflected his ability to become a perennial home run hitter. However, his strikeout numbers with the Cubs showcased it as well. Happ was fanned 129 times in his rookie season with the Cubs.

Happ’s promising rookie season works two-fold for the Chicago Cubs — they could trade him or designate him as their next up and coming star. Ian Happ has value with the Chicago Cubs either way.

The Chicago Cubs have not gone on the record stating that they are looking to trade any of their young stars. If the Cubs are able to sign a couple of free agent pitchers to reasonable contracts, it may prevent from a trade happening.

Ian Happ reaches for a fly ball.
Ian Happ’s defensive ability makes him valuable to the Chicago Cubs. [Image by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]

One of the free agent pitchers with interest in signing with the Cubs is former Tampa Bay Rays starter Alex Cobb. The right-handed hurler recently expressed his respect (courtesy of MLB.com) for Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who gave Cobb his first shot at pitching in the majors.

“Obviously, if we move down the line and we’re able to have some discussions with them, I’d be very honored to be able to talk with them and hopefully come to a deal.”

There is growing speculation that the Cubs are on Alex Cobb’s list of teams (courtesy of Inquisitr News). If the Cubs can reach a deal with Cobb, it eases the concerns regarding one of their young stars, such as Ian Happ having to be traded for pitching.

The Chicago Cubs may determine that they must trade Ian Happ or one of their young stars. However, which star they trade could be decided by the type of pitchers the Cubs bring in.

Fly ball pitchers would call for the Cubs to keep their top defensive outfielders. That would mean that Ian Happ would likely stay with the Cubs.

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The player whom the Cubs may choose to entertain MLB trade offers for could be slugger Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber is an average defensive player in the outfield, with better power potential than Ian Happ at the moment. Happ, on the other hand, has different intangibles than Schwarber.

Ground ball pitchers would require the Cubs to be stout with their infield defense. It would eliminate the idea that the Cubs have to trade Ian Happ altogether.

The Chicago Cubs interest in trading Ian Happ or any of their young stars is speculative for now. The first stage of MLB free agency may have to play itself out before the Cubs make their roster decisions.

Ian Happ’s name has become a constant in the MLB trade rumors involving the Chicago Cubs. Happ could be untouchable for the Cubs, or he can be available.

[Featured Image by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]