The only news coming out of Chicago Cubs spring training is no news … at least for Ian Happ.
While there were hopes of a contract extension for the outfielder, that doesn’t appear to be taking place on the eve of Opening Day.
“It’s not something I want to get into,” he told media on Wednesday, including NBC Sports Chicago. “We went through the process. And that’s about it. There’s nothing really to report. No real comment on it.”
It would appear Happ is heading toward free agency without a deal in place.
Happ’s been around big names in the game including Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez, so the business side of the game has never escaped him.
However, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer did say he would have wanted Happ’s future to be in ink before spring training. That time has lapsed.
In 2022, Happ earned his first All-Star selection and a Gold Glove Award, slashing .271/.342/.440 with 17 home runs and 72 RBI.
Another reason the Cubs aren’t pushing for an extension on Happ is because the top three prospects in their pipeline are outfielders.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcántara, and Brennen Davis all have power with Crow-Armstrong’s defense making him one of the top centerfielders in the game. His ability to route the ball has him standing out among the rest.
For now, Happ is viewing this situation as a chance to be present.
“I’m just excited to play baseball with this group of guys,” he said.
His teammate, Nico Hoerner, signed a three-year, $35,000,000 contract, and Happ couldn’t be happier for him.
“That’s the most fulfilling part as a teammate and as a friend, being so close to him for so long, just watching how excited he is to be here for the next three years, is really cool,” he said.