(670 The Score) The Braves had interest in acquiring Cubs outfielder Ian Happ before the trade deadline passed Tuesday but didn’t come close to finalizing a deal, Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos said on the Dukes & Bell Show on 92.9 The Game on Wednesday.
“We talked with the Cubs, we checked in with everybody – everybody who was out there,” Anthopoulos said. “It’s our job to get a price, no matter what. You don’t know. You have to get a price because you’re not doing your job if you don’t. All of a sudden, you get a price four days earlier and you’re like, ‘Ehh, that’s a little too high.’ Then all of a sudden you get close to the deadline and you’re like, ‘Ahh, maybe I’m willing to do it.’ Things change, but you better be ready.
“Everybody knew that the Cubs had players available and that they were going to sell. So it’s in that natural thing that we certainly called them. Did we get close to any deals with them? I would say no, but we definitely had conversations. We have a good relationship with them. They’re great to deal with because they’re very direct and very transparent. Getting close is when maybe you’re haggling on the – you agree to three out of four and you’re haggling on the fourth piece or something like that. But no, we never got close in that respect, but we did have good conversations about all their players.”
The Cubs kept Happ, who’s under team control through 2023. An All-Star for the first time this season, Happ entered Thursday hitting .276 with nine homers, 46 RBIs and a .788 OPS in 100 games.
The Cubs also retained All-Star catcher Willson Contreras, which was a more perplexing and surprising move as he’s set to become a free agent at season’s end and the sides have failed to make progress on a long-term extension.