The Atlanta Braves should have a close eye on these three members of the Chicago Cubs before the trade deadline.
The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs are having very different seasons. The two franchises are at different points in their history, with Atlanta looking to defend their title and the Cubs hoping their championship drought doesn’t last another 100+ years.
These two clubs will have very different trade deadline plans. Due to this, they could be a match for a blockbuster trade.
With Atlanta in buyer’s mode and Chicago continuing to sell, what types of players could we expect to go from one team to another?
1) Braves trade target on the Cubs: Ian Happ
Ian Happ might be the league’s most underrated trade piece this summer. He has a year and a half left of control which helps any return the Cubs might get for him if they do decide to pull the ripcord.
Happ is having another strong year in 2022 and well on his way to having career highs in multiple categories. He is hitting much higher than the .226 he battled through last season and is among the league leaders in OBP. A hitter who has progressed in the latter part of his 20s, what makes him even more desirable is how he can play so many positions.
While he has settled in as a starting left fielder this year, Happ has a lot of experience at other spots, too. Atlanta could use a guy like this on the ball club. Their outfield depth is weak and so is what they have on the infield. The loss of Ozzie Albies has left some questions at second base. Happ can answer those. In left field or even center field, he could be an upgrade over just about anyone else they could possibly put out there.
It might take a nice haul to pull him away from the Cubs. Based on what they did in the offseason, they might not be ready to tear it all down again.