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Why Cubs’ Ian Happ’s future might tell tale of Jed Hoyer’s timeline

Why Cubs' Ian Happ's future might tell tale of Jed Hoyer's timeline

Why Happ’s next few months might indicate Cubs’ timeline originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

ST. LOUIS — He wants to stay long-term. He might be gone by the end of next month.

And if he’s still around by the end of the season, it merely earns Ian Happ a place in the same untethered orbit occupied these past two seasons by All-Star friends and teammates — as a short-term asset with trade value on a team nowhere close to contending.

So keep an eye on Happ if you’ve been scratching your head trying to decipher what team president Jed Hoyer’s plan (never mind timeline) is for his stripped-down roster.

Because one of the biggest indicators in the next few months of the Cubs’ direction is the man on deck behind Willson Contreras.

“Obviously, that would be my hope that I would be able to continue here and be with the group long-term and be able to build something really special here,” Happ said before doubling home a run in Friday night’s 3-0 victory over the Cardinals.

“That’s about as much as you have, is your hope.”

The Cubs have not approached Happ to talk about an extension, nor does he expect them to do so during the season.

Hoyer has trades to make before the Aug. 2 deadline, before making that decision on Happ — All-Star catcher Contreras and high-performing closer David Robertson foremost among the inevitable departures.

And Happ could join them, considering the rise in his trade value as he puts up All-Star-caliber numbers from the No. 3 spot in the order, with an additional year of club control after this one to dangle in front of potential suitors.

Don’t think the White Sox could use a productive switch-hitter with power who has become an above-average defender in the outfield?

“You just never know if any of that’s real; as players you just don’t know,” Happ said. “There’s always speculation. But you don’t have the ability to see behind the curtain and know what’s going on.”

And, besides, he said, “You can’t…

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