Breaking: Cubs star player has been the focus of trade rumours, but there’s a catch….

The Chicago Cubs, in Craig Counsell’s first season as manager, are still not living up to the hype.

Cubs All-Star Mentioned In Trade Rumor, But There's A Problem

Not much has gone well, save for youngster Shota Imanaga’s incredible Cy Young candidature. The bullpen is in disarray, Cody Bellinger is having trouble, and Counsell, the new highest-paid manager in MLB history, is continuously upsetting the fan base with his ridiculous actions.

Eventually, something has to shift. With a record of 33–35, the Cubs are tied with the Cincinnati Reds, who seem to be riding a much more favourable wave, and seven games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, who are led by Counsell’s former bench coach. The crisis point of this season is quickly coming.

It’s likely that Chicago will sell at the deadline instead of adding players to make a postseason push. Counsell wasn’t hired to oversee a rebuild, but if the Cubs keep losing, they won’t have many options left. Perhaps Jed Hoyer can add a couple solid relief arms and the bats come alive. The 2024 Cubs’ obituary should not be written just yet in the season. However, if the Cubs are unable to make quick progress, the front management is likely to replenish the farm system before to the trade deadline of July 30.

Ian Happ, who has struggled to perform in the outfield to his typical calibre, is one undervalued trade prospect.

Happ is hitting the lowest of his career.215/.323/.364 in 228 AB with 30 RBI and six home homers. Nevertheless, he has a contract that pays about $20.3 million a year until the 2026 season, so there might be a trade market.

The Atlanta Braves are one team that Jim Bowden of The Athletic ($) suggested as a possible landing location.

Ian Happ-centered Cubs-Braves trade could be advantageous to both teams

This is an investment in the here and now for the Braves. Adam Duvall took over as the starting right fielder for the balance of the season when Ronald Acuña Jr.’s ACL tear prevented him from playing. To revive their rather weak offence, the Braves want an upgrade in the outfield, another reliable source of power.

At some point, we should anticipate good reversion from Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and the Braves stars. However, Atlanta’s offence is currently more of a liability than a strength, and the Phillies are continuing to pull ahead in the NL East, which is startlingly imbalanced. Happ hasn’t performed well this year, but in 2023 he had 84 RBI and 21 home runs.

Atlanta can only hope that a more competitive environment and a change of scenery would bring out the best in Happ.

For Chicago, it’s an opportunity to cut Happ’s deal and make a new outfield addition. Pete Crow-Armstrong might receive more reps and an opportunity to develop within the MLB organisation. In exchange, the Cubs can concentrate on the future while obtaining a strong prospect, preferably a pitcher with some starting-level upside.

Chicago could consider Happ’s contract to be a hardship, considering the Braves are paying for a 2.5-year team control period. Given the optimism about Happ’s capacity to recover and return to a more typical level of output, there is significant opportunity for mutual benefit. The Cubs retreat while the Braves advance their chips.

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