What started off as a contentious series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs ended up being a beatdown in favor of the NL’s best.
The Cubs made it tough for the Dodgers each and every moment of the four-game set, but it was LA that came away winning all four games despite only out-scoring Chicago 24-17.
And with that, the Cubs might be leaning toward full-on sell mode when the trade deadline arrives. Prior to landing in LA, Chicago had won three straight series against the Reds, Red Sox and Brewers after splitting a four-game set against the Cardinals. They were 34-48 and were perhaps on their way to proving that maybe they shouldn’t sell some core pieces.
But now, at 34-52, and with six upcoming games against MLB’s hottest team, the Baltimore Orioles, as well as the NL East-leading New York Mets, all bets might be off.
That leads us to believe that the heated moment between Tyler Anderson and Ian Happ might be water under the bridge, since the Dodgers need a power-hitting outfielder and the Cubs now need to worry about collecting assets.
Can the Dodgers swing a trade for Cubs outfielder Ian Happ?
Happ has always been a fringe trade asset for the Cubs. He’s still a young player at 27 years old (with one more year of club control in 2023), but he’s not that young where Chicago can potentially watch his value diminish as his days under club control begin to dwindle.
The slugger’s rookie year in 2017 was wildly impressive, but then his 142 game-stint in 2018 was average and was followed by an injury-shortened 2019. The 2020 pandemic season was a success for him, but then another average 2021 season took some shine off of him.
Now, in the midst of a career year, the Cubs can sell high and expedite their rebuild. This is shaping up to be his best season by far (he’s officially an NL All-Star) and he’s coming into his own defensively being entrenched in left field as opposed to bouncing all over the diamond.
Following the injury to Chris Taylor, the Dodgers need a true reinforcement in left field rather than relying on the flash-in-the-pan Trayce Thompson or even dreaming of moving Gavin Lux out of the infield.
Additionally, with struggling left-handed power bats currently entrenched in the starting lineup (Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy), bringing in Happ will help lengthen the lineup as well as give those guys much-deserved bench time when the stakes get even higher.
This is a championship move that the Dodgers may have helped come to fruition by taking care of business this weekend.