Ian Happ

Cubs' Ian Happ: MLB players ‘have already agreed to a pay cut’ for 2020 season

Cubs' Ian Happ: MLB players ‘have already agreed to a pay cut’ for 2020 season

Should the MLB players union agree to a pay cut for the 2020 season? 

“Players right now have already agreed to a pay cut,” said Cubs outfielder Ian Happ Tuesday on ESPN’s “Waddle and Silvy," when asked if the players expect to compromise with league owners on further salary concessions.  

Happ, the Cubs assistant MLBPA representative, is speaking of the agreement players made with MLB owners in March to receive prorated salaries this season. 

“We’re taking pay as the number of games that we play this year,” he said.

The owners and players hit the negotiating table Tuesday to discuss MLB’s proposal to restart the 2020 season. That plan entails a 50-50 revenue split between owners and players, as MLB believes it will lose more money playing games without fans and paying prorated salaries than if they don’t play at all.

Tuesday's negotiations didn't include an economic proposal, according to The Athletic's Evan Drellich

RELATED: 'Doomed to fail': 5 takeaways from MLB's proposal to play baseball in 2020

Revenues will take a hit in 2020 because the coronavirus will cut a chunk of games off the schedule and eliminate the presence of paying fans in the stands. However, MLBPA union chief Tony Clark recently told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal a revenue split is a “non-starter” in negotiations, citing his belief owners are attempting to institute a salary cap.

Owners and players fighting over money during a global pandemic would be a horrible look for baseball at a time where tens of thousands have died from the virus and millions have lost their jobs. MLB playing some semblance of a season would offer the world a sense of normalcy, which Happ noted.

“Players understand that we want to get back on the field, and I think that for our country and for all the fans out there, that’s our main goal — is to get back,” he said.

However, baseball’s return poses a risk to the health of everyone involved, from players to coaches to trainers to owners to media to stadium workers. Look no further than Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle's Twitter timeline to understand player concerns over returning to action.

Although it could behoove either side to make a compromise, Happ's comments show the players remain firm in their stance.

"But we've already come to one agreement," Happ said. "We're excited to see what the proposal is and see what our best solution is moving forward for baseball this year."

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Ian Happ shoots a 69, still finishes 11 strokes back of PGA player Joel Dahmen

Ian Happ shoots a 69, still finishes 11 strokes back of PGA player Joel Dahmen

Maybe it's time we refer to golf as more than a hobby for Cubs outfielder Ian Happ.

Last week, Happ and Cubs teammate Kyle Schwarber went golfing at the Mesa Country Club with PGA tour player Joel Dahmen. Happ shot a stellar 69, while Schwarber posted a solid 81.

The craziest part? Despite those scores, Happ and Schwarber finished well behind Dahmen, who set a course record (58).

MORE: Cubs' Ian Happ supports National League adding designated hitter

Imagine that from Happ's perspective. He's a scratch golfer and his dad, Keith, was a USGA agronomist for 23 years, so it's not as if the 25-year-old happened to have a good outing. His golf game is legit, and he still finished 11 strokes back of Dahmen.

That's just cruel, man. Alas, Dahmen is a pro, so Happ should be proud of his performance.

Maybe Happ can pursue a pro golf career whenever his baseball career ends. In a Q&A with The Athletic on Tuesday, he expressed interest in playing in a pro-am at Pebble Beach.

Got any retirement plans, Ian?

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Cubs' Ian Happ supports National League adding designated hitter

Cubs' Ian Happ supports National League adding designated hitter

Count Cubs center fielder Ian Happ as a supporter of a universal designated hitter.

"I think DH to the NL would be great for our game," Happ said in a Tuesday Q&A with The Athletic. "I'm a huge fan of the (NL) strategy and double-switches but for entertainment and pace of the game, I think it's time."

Adding a DH to National League play has gained traction in recent years, and it's a foregone conclusion it will happen in 2020. Part of MLB's proposal to start the season — which owners approved Monday and will be discussed with the players union Tuesday — entails teams only playing games within their geographic region.

RELATED: Why Kyle Schwarber is not the automatic choice for Cubs DH in 2020

The Cubs would play against the NL and AL Central, so adding a DH will mean all 30 teams play under the same rules.

Kyle Schwarber generally comes to mind as the clear choice for the Cubs' primary DH, though he's improved defensively in left field since his rookie season. The Cubs could use a series of players, including Schwarber, Wilson Contreras (to keep his bat in the lineup on days off from catching), Victor Caratini (a contact-oriented, switch-hitter), Steven Souza Jr. (who's coming off a serious knee injury) and Happ (a switch-hitter, on days Albert Almora Jr. starts in center).

Happ also said he thinks starting extra innings with a runner on second works, while posing the question of whether fans would rather see a home run derby to decide games longer than 12 innings or finish with a tie.

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