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Chicago Cubs sign OF Ian Happ to 3 - Year $61 Million Contract Extension
On Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 the Chicago Cubs announced that they have signed their veteran hard swinging outfielder, Ian Happ, to a 3 - year contract extension. The new agreement between the Chicago Cubs and Happ is reportedly worth up to approximately $61 million, and the contract also includes a full no - trade clause as well.
The contract extension will begin next year in 2024 and run through 2026. Throughout the life of that deal Happ will earn an average annual salary of $20,333,333. Ian will receive a signing bonus of $3 million, and he is now scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent once again in 2027.
Happ was seeking a more long - term contract than just 3 - years, but that was the longest commitment that the Chicago Cubs were willing to extend to him, and Ian wanted to remain a Chicago Cub at this point in his Major League Baseball career.
"This is the place I wanted to be," the Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ expressed to the major sports media outlets last Wednesday. "I've been pretty clear about that for a long time. Just the fact that I wanted to wear this uniform for as long as I can made it pretty easy."
The now 28 - year - old Happ is a major part of a core collection of Chicago Cubs players that include Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner, Jameson Taillon, and Seiya Suzuki, all of whom are signed for a minimum of at least the next 3 - MLB seasons.
"I've seen such a change in him over the last year in terms of stepping into a leadership role," says the Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations, Jed Hoyer. "His preparation to play is outstanding, both from a physical preparation, and also he does everything he can think of to win a game."
After finishing in 8th - place in the 2017 Rookie of the Year Award voting, Ian found it tough to stay in the Chicago Cubs starting line - up as well as the big - leagues. Happ watched as his strikeout percentage increased all the way up to 36 % during the 2018 MLB season, and he was bounced back and forth from AAA to the majors several times throughout his early years in professional baseball. However, over time Ian matured into a more complete hitter at the plate and as a premier outfielder where he primarily plays left field for the Chicago Cubs. Happ made his first MLB All - Star appearance as well as winning his first Gold Glove both for the 2022 MLB season.
Playing almost every day after the Chicago Cubs traded away all of their best and highest paid players a couple of years ago has helped Happ develop his game in many different areas as he became a great all around big - league ball player.
"Those are the things that give you belief you're supposed to be here and compete at this level," Happ explained. "Having that opportunity was huge for me."
Both Happ and Hoyer fully comprehend that this new contract extension will not retire Ian as a Chicago Cub, and he will be back on the Major League Baseball free agency market at the age of 32 - years - old.
"There's compromising on structure, there's compromising on term," Happ went on to say. "Taking something that is three years and runs through baseball prime ... that's my concession to be here. I really wanted to continue wearing this uniform."
Hoyer continued by saying, "We went through a lot of different structures and realized that shorter was probably going to work better than longer."
Happ is off to an excellent start to the young 2023 MLB season as he is carrying a batting average of .282 (11 - for - 39) with 1 - home run, 10 - walks, and just 12 - strikeouts.
Ian's signing comes just several weeks after the Chicago Cubs locked up their starting second baseman, Nico Hoerner, on a 3 - year contract extension as well. Both are home - grown ball players, and they now will remain Chicago Cubs for at least the foreseeable immediate future. The Chicago Cubs rebuild is beginning to look good as they are playing good baseball to start the 2023 MLB season. They have compiled an overall record of 6 and 5 so far this year.
"I love this place and I love the idea of competing in the playoffs in a Cubs uniform," Happ stated. "That's the part that was so motivating."
Happ’s Baseball Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
- MLB All - Star Selection (2022)
- Gold Glove Award Winner (2022)
“Cubs sign OF Ian Happ to 3 - year extension worth $61M, sources say”, Jesse Rogers, espn.com, April 12, 2023.
“Ian Happ”, baseball-reference.com, April 14, 2023.
“Ian Happ”, spotrac.com, April 14, 2023.