The Cubs and outfielder Ian Happ got here to an settlement on a $10.85MM wage for the 2023 season with a view to keep away from arbitration, per The New York Post’s Jon Heyman.
Happ, 28, has spent his whole skilled profession as a member of the Cubs group. He delivered a robust debut marketing campaign within the 2017 season, posting a .253/.328/.514 slash line, good for a 114 wRC+ and a few down-ballot Rookie of the Year votes whereas splitting time between second base and heart area. The following season, Happ cut up time between all three outfield spots in addition to third base however took a step again offensively, posting a slash line of simply .233/.353/.408 (106 wRC+) in 142 video games with a worrisome 36.1% strikeout price.
Happ spent a lot of the 2019 season at Triple-A Iowa engaged on his recreation, and appeared to have made enhancements by the point he got here up within the second half: in 58 video games that season, he slashed .264/.333/.564 (126 wRC+) whereas slicing his strikeout price all the best way all the way down to 25.0%. Happ’s improved recreation carried into the shortened 2020 marketing campaign, the place he appeared like a possible MVP candidate early within the season earlier than an damage in early September prompted him to droop down the stretch. Still, he managed a 132 wRC+ on the yr after his scorching begin to the shortened season. That droop continued all through the primary half of the 2021 season as Happ slashed .193/.296/.330 within the first half, though a robust second half allowed him to push his total season numbers again above the league common.
After a tough yr in 2021, nonetheless, Happ was capable of publish the most effective full season of his profession in 2022, and appeared like a very totally different hitter whereas doing it. He posted a profession excessive in doubles, a profession low strikeout price, earned a gold glove after settling right into a full-time position in left area moderately than bouncing across the diamond as he had up to now, and even managed to appropriate his heavy platoon cut up from earlier years, turning into a largely cut up impartial participant. All this led to his first profession All Star look in 2022 and allowed him to earn over $10MM in his last journey by arbitration this offseason, even narrowly beating out the $10.6MM projection of MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz.
While Happ is ready to develop into a free agent following the 2023 season, rumblings of an extension have permeated all through the offseason, with each Happ and president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer reportedly trying to begin any potential extension talks earlier than Spring Training, in line with Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times.