Days after a subpar outing against the New York Yankees, J.A. Happ was once again the subject of trade rumours, this time linked to a new team.
According to Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network on Twitter, the Chicago Cubs “may have interest” in trading for left-handed starting pitcher J.A. Happ. Aside from Elliott’s tweet, no other source has linked Happ to the Cubs.
On paper, the Cubs appear to be a logical landing spot for the big lefty, who, despite his horrid start against the Yankees on Friday, has maintained a 4.44 ERA and a 10-5 record. His 10 wins tie him for eighth in all of baseball.
The Cubs, who are currently in second place in the National League Central with a record of 50-36, and eighth in baseball in overall team ERA, according to ESPN. On top of that, they’re 13th in the league in starters ERA, 26th in the league in innings pitched by a starter and 20th in strikeouts by a starter.
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With the recent struggles of Tyler Chatwood (8.27 ERA, 14 BB over his last four starts) and Jose Quintana (4.96 ERA, 4 HR over his last three starts), it makes perfect sense that the Cubs are looking at Happ as a viable rotation option as they try and once again make a deep, successful postseason run.
Another potential NL Central contender, the Milwaukee Brewers, have also been linked to Happ. While it’s not certain that the Cubs are interested in Happ due to the Brewers’ interest, it’s possible that their alleged interest is fuelled by the rumours of their division rivals.
According to Bleacher Report, the Cubs farm system is the lowest ranked in baseball, noting that while they don’t necessarily have a “barren farm system”, they do not have a prospect that is on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list. Notable prospects in the system include shortstop Aramis Aderman, pitchers Alex Lange and Adbert Alzolay and catcher Miguel Amaya.
Despite the vagueness of these rumours, it’s undoubtedly exciting to see that so many clubs are interested in potentially trading for J.A. Happ.