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9 under the radar trade targets the Mets should pursue

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Ian Happ, Mets
Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

The Cubs are in full-blown rebuild mode, and the Mets could use one of their few remaining good players, Ian Happ.

The switch hitter slashed .226/.323/.434/.757 and hit 25 homers, 20 doubles, drove in 66 runs, and scored 63. He posted an OPS+ of 102, a wRC+ of 103, and an fWAR of 1.3. 

Happ hits the ball hard. He was in the 74th percentile in barrel rate and the 54th percentile in hard hit rate. He does chase a lot of pitches out of the zone (80th percentile) but he also walks a lot (83rd percentile in walk rate). He’s also got some speed, ranking in the 70th percentile in sprint speed.

One of the things that makes Happ valuable is that he can play so many positions in the field. This year, he saw time at second, third, and all three outfield positions. While he isn’t a great defender, that versatility is a huge asset. His best position this season was left field, where he posted a 2 DRS and a 0 OAA. In total at all positions, he had a -5 DRS and a -6 OAA in 2021.

Happ has two years of control left. Since he is coming off of a career high in several categories, including homers and doubles, his value might be at its peak and the Cubs have no reason to keep him. Since he’ll be a free agent long before the Cubs are ready to contend again, they should make him available this winter. Given that Javy Baez is a free agent and there are doubts about Jeff McNeil, this is a solid move.

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