That would be a season of just 48 or 50 games, which the league has the right to enforce by giving players their full pro-rated pay. Happ would like the season to be longer for competitive reasons, financial purposes and the fans.
"I'm hopeful that we get to a place where we're playing more than 48 or 50 games, which MLB and the commissioner have the right to mandate," Happ said on the Dan Bernstein Show on Thursday. "So hopefully we're looking at something closer to half a season where we feel like players are playing enough games and we feel like fans are getting enough baseball in their lives."
The players' union recently proposed an 89-game season with full pro-rated pay, which the owners had no interest in. It appears playing a half-season is the best-case scenario at this point -- and also seemingly a long shot.
Nonetheless, Happ remains hopeful. He recently returned to Chicago from Arizona -- not because a season is imminent but because his lease ran out.
"There's definitely optimism," said Happ, who's a player representative for the Cubs. "Any time proposals are going back and forth, like I said before, that's a good thing. It's unfortunate that the proposals we've seen from the league have just been basically the same thing packaged in different ways.
"Everything is open on the table for us. It's just a matter of what they're willing to agree to and what makes sense."