The Boston Red Sox got some unfortunate news Monday.
Boston center fielder Adam Duvall was placed on the 10-day injured list after fracturing his wrist. Although he won’t need surgery, he still likely is will miss months of the season rather than weeks.
The Red Sox currently have Masataka Yoshida and Alex Verdugo penciled in as everyday starters with a platoon expected in center field. If Boston is looking to add someone to the mix, one player who may make sense is Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ.
Happ is Chicago’s starting left fielder and has been in trade rumors since the end of the 2022 season. The 28-year-old is set to be a free agent at the end of the 2023 season so it wouldn’t be too surprising if he were to be dealt ahead of the trade deadline.
The 28-year-old was named an All-Star for the first time in his career in 2022. Happ impressed while slashing .271/.342/.440 to go along with 17 home runs and 72 RBIs.
The outfielder added 42 doubles and nine steals while also earning his first Gold Glove Award of his career.
Happ has gotten off to a hot start to begin the 2023 season and is slashing .333/.500/.533 through 10 games along with a home run and six RBIs. If the Cubs still were willing to trade Happ, Boston may make perfect sense.
The Red Sox could move Verdugo over to center field and play Happ in right field where he has seen time throughout his career.
The fact that the Cubs and Happ were unable to come to terms on a contract extension this past offseason certainly indicates that he likely will be a free agent at the end of the season.
A deal for Happ may not be the most expensive because of the chance that he signs elsewhere after the 2023 season.
Boston has a surplus of pitching and young talent and likely could meet the asking price of the Cubs if they still are willing to move Happ.
A move isn’t imminent, but Happ is a player to watch. He could provide the Red Sox with solid defensive play to go along with above-average offensive production.
The MLB Trade Deadline will pass in July so a move may not happen until then, but Happ certainly is someone to look out for.