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Ian Happ ‘would love to stay’ with Cubs

Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Ian Happ ‘would love to stay’ with Cubs

2022 NL All-Star and current Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ is set to hit free agency after the 2023 season, and he has made it clear that he wants to stay put.

Happ has been in the Cubs organization his entire career, dating all the way back to the 2015 MLB Draft, where the Cubs selected him ninth overall.

“Chicago’s the place that is home for me and the only thing that I’ve ever known,” Happ said to MLB.com’s Mark Fiensand.

“As a player who’s only known this, you feel pretty at home in the organization and with the group. It would be weird to wear another jersey; I would love to stay here and I would love to be a part of the next great Cubs team, but we’ll see.”

Happ did a good job of making it clear that he wants to stay in Chicago and be a Cub, but at the same time, he didn’t kill his leverage in contract talks.

The Cubs outfielder played a career-high 152 games last season. He also had a career-high 641 plate appearances and 155 hits for the club. He won an NL Gold Glove for his play in center field.

Happ joined the Cubs in 2017, a year after the Cubs won the World Series. Happ saw many of his teammates traded in the subsequent years when the Cubs were finding a new direction. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber are prime examples.

The center fielder was in danger of becoming another trade deadline casualty last summer. When the deadline passed, however, Happ stayed a Cub, embracing former Cub Willson Contreras.

It was tough mentally for Happ during this time. He had to fight through uncertainty and a potential role change.

“That was very tough, mentally,” manager David Ross said. “I think he’s gone through some times in his career where it hasn’t been easy for him; some send-downs, some times of struggles on really good teams, the up-and-down kind of road of his Major League career. Last year, I thought he handled it great.”

Ian Happ is one of the best guys in baseball and it seems like the Cubs love him. If I was Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer, I’d try to get Happ locked down to Wrigley for a long time.

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