The other side of emotional coin for Cubs' Contreras, Happ


It’s been an emotional few days for Cubs All-Stars Willson Contreras and Ian Happ.

But if one door closes, another opens?

“When you get the chance to play for a team that’s competing and in that hunt, that’s what we all want to do as baseball players,” Happ said after Tuesday’s win over the Pirates. “It’s exhilarating. 

“And if that happens to anybody here, that’ll be a real opportunity.”

Happ and Contreras played what could be their final home game at Wrigley Field on Tuesday. Contreras is expected to be traded by next week’s deadline, and Happ appears a strong candidate to be dealt as well.

Contreras and Happ soaked in Tuesday’s game as Cubs fans showed their love for two of the organization's longest-tenured players.

MORE: Contreras, Happ savor 'emotional' final home game as Cubs

Contreras, who's in his 14th year in the organization and seventh season with the Cubs, received multiple standing ovations before his plate appearances.

Happ, the former first-round pick who's in his sixth season and earned his first All-Star nod this year, was gifted a signed baseball by fans in the bleachers.

If Tuesday proves to be their last home game with the Cubs, Happ and Contreras know they’ll be receiving opportunities to join a contender and play in a pennant race.

Contreras has been linked to teams including the Mets, Padres and Astros. Happ’s name has been connected to San Diego, with another report stating “almost everyone wants” the All-Star outfielder.

RELATED: Emotional Ian Happ: 'I don't want my Cubs journey to end'

“Getting traded to a team that is going to compete is always good,” Contreras said. “If the Cubs get a good package for me to make this team better, they’re going to do it. And I would be more than happy to help a different team to get to the World Series. 

“If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be more than happy to stay here with my teammates and try to find a way to make everyone better and keep being a nice leader on and off the field and keep helping the team. 

“I’m good with both ways. If I leave, I’m pretty sure that's going to be a tough one. But if I stay, I’ll be more than happy to stay.”

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