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Ian Happ, Cubs comply with 3-year extension

April 12th, 2023CHICAGO — Ian Happ jogged out to left field, removed his cap and patted it against the Cubs logo on his chest as the fans in the bleachers offered him an ovation. The video board looming behind them displayed the news of his extension with the only ballclub he has known.Shortly before the

Ian Happ, Cubs comply with 3-year extension

April twelfth, 2023

CHICAGO — Ian Happ jogged out to left subject, eliminated his cap and patted it in opposition to the Cubs emblem on his chest because the followers within the bleachers supplied him an ovation. The video board looming behind them displayed the information of his extension with the one ballclub he has identified.

Shortly earlier than the primary pitch was thrown on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Discipline, the Cubs formally introduced a three-year cope with Happ, conserving the All-Star within the fold via 2026. Per a number of sources, the contract is valued at $61 million general.

“I am simply tremendous excited to be right here,” Happ stated after the Cubs’ 5-2 loss to the Mariners on Wednesday. “This can be a place I’ve referred to as residence since 2015. The town, the fan base, has meant a lot to me all through my profession, and the truth that I get to proceed to be right here, proceed to be a Cub and symbolize the group, means the world to me.”

The potential for sporting one other uniform has crossed Happ’s thoughts on a number of events over the previous 12 months. Final season, he weathered commerce rumors whereas piecing collectively the most effective all-around marketing campaign of his profession. And when an extension was not reached by Opening Day final month, Happ was undecided what the longer term held.

The Cubs and Happ finally discovered widespread floor in a deal that covers the 2024-26 seasons and removes him from subsequent winter’s free-agent pool. Happ had an opportunity to enter the market as among the finest bats obtainable, however will as a substitute attempt to assist the North Siders climb again into rivalry.

“I would like to do one other deal on prime of this in some unspecified time in the future,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer stated. “However I’m thrilled to maintain him right here for 3 further years. I’m glad it obtained throughout the end line.”

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On Opening Day, the Cubs introduced a similarly-structured extension with second baseman Nico Hoerner. He signed a three-year, $35 million pact that additionally runs via ’26 and, throughout his press convention, raved concerning the influence Happ has had on his younger profession.

“He is an unimaginable participant,” Hoerner stated. “However his worth to our locker room, and to me, simply exceeds that tremendously. I am simply extremely grateful that I’ve gotten to play with him for therefore lengthy. And, hopefully, I’ll for lots longer. He is simply all the things that I may ask for in a teammate and buddy.”

Happ and Hoerner be part of starter Jameson Taillon and outfielder Seiya Suzuki among the many group locked in via the 2026 season. Over the offseason, the Cubs additionally reeled in blockbuster free-agent shortstop Dansby Swanson, who signed a seven-year, $177 million deal via ’29.

In Happ’s case, he supplies a sort of through-line from the franchise’s final core group to the subsequent wave. The Cubs chosen him within the first spherical of the 2015 Draft, and he watched from the farm because the MLB crew gained the World Collection in ’16. He skilled profitable seasons with the final star-laden roster from 2017-20, and is now a veteran voice and chief each on and off the sector.

“He is a giant a part of our management right here,” Cubs supervisor David Ross stated. “He is a giant a part of what I feel we’ll change into as a company, as a crew. There is not any secret he is a extremely good participant, however to have the ability to lock in a contract, and him desirous to be right here, I feel stands out.”

Whereas the perimeters didn’t attain a deal by the point the season arrived, Hoyer made it clear that the door had not been closed. At that juncture, Happ stated he was absolutely ready to only soak in every second of this season, understanding the current line of gamers who had been traded or allowed to stroll — names like Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo — when an extension didn’t come to fruition.

The early portion of Happ’s profession featured loads of peaks and valleys — plus a tricky demotion again to Triple-A Iowa on the outset of ’19 — however he has grown into an entire participant for the Cubs. His strikeout charge, which ballooned as excessive as 36.2 % in ’18, got here all the way down to 23.2 % in ’22.

Final 12 months, Happ made his first All-Star crew, picked up his first profession Gold Glove Award for his work in left subject and turned in a .271/.342/.440 slash line. He belted 17 homers, churned out 42 doubles and ended with 72 RBIs and a career-best 3.6 fWAR in 158 video games.

By way of the Cubs’ first 11 video games because the crew’s No. 3 hitter this 12 months, Happ had produced a .282/.429/.462 slash with one homer, 4 doubles, six RBIs and 7 runs scored. He has additionally been displaying an particularly eager eye on the plate, drawing 10 walks with 12 strikeouts.

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“I feel the rewarding factor is simply how far, in my view, Ian’s come,” Ross stated. “And the onerous work he is put in and making himself such a well-rounded participant.”

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