Looks like another one has bitten the Wrigley Field dust, as cream of the crop free agent Jason Heyward is reportedly heading to the Chicago Cubs according to MLB.com. This signing adds to their already flashy arsensal, boosted even further days earlier by the Ben “Zobi Wan Kenobi” Zobrist signing.
Contract UPDATE (Chicago Sun-Times Beat Writer Gordon Wittenmyer): Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs, 8 years, $184 million
Heyward will be missed by the St. Louis Cardinals, sure kind of, but his legacy will be even more greatly missed in Kansas – where the group Kansas was formed, and eventually the song “Carry On Wayward Son” (which we’re pretty sure was written with yet-to-be-born Heyward in mind – see below).
Despite injury concerns, Heyward did win gold gloves each of the past two seasons (one in Atlanta with the Braves, one in St. Louis). The 26-year-old is also a .268 career hitter with a .784 OPS. Last season for the Redbirds, Jason Heyward hit .293 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI in 154 games. Not too shabby, but also not too fantastic for a guy who’s now commanding nearly (if not initially more than) $200 million.
BREAKING: Jason Heyward has chosen to sign with Cubs. (via ESPN & multiple reports) pic.twitter.com/y0DIveqOp3
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 11, 2015
Not only did the Cubbies sign two star-studded MLB veterans, but they also plucked one of their rival’s biggest stars – in turn shifting the momentum over to Chicago an extra tad. On the other hand, some baseball realists might not see this as such a potent move. Heyward is seen around many parts as an overrated right fielder with tissue paper for limbs, grabbing $20-24 million per year based mostly on his potential and 6’5″ 245-pound frame. It’s the idea of Jason Heyward that gets MLB general managers excited rather than the resume. His weak dribblers to second base will quickly get stale.
What are realistic expectations for Jason Heyward?
Unlike the Kansas hit song that remains a cemented part of our culture and history, Heyward could very easily bask in his cash overflow from the Disabled List after some kind of ridiculous tear day 2. I do, however, envision a solid, yet unspectacular outfielder similar to the guy who’s been marinating in good-enough, but not great MLB production for six boring seasons. It’s exhausting to see an average performer rake in $200 million. It’s time for Heyward to turn up the jets and start clobbing ferocious doubles to the tune of a .300 batting average and above-.800 OPS. Is that too much to ask of a $200 million ballplayer?
The short answer is no, no it’s not. However, it may be a lot to ask a less-than-six-foot, 275-pound first baseman to do an episode of Fresh Prince, even if he too gets $200 million. Remember that? Yes, we’re talking about you Prince Fielder..
Jason Heyward’s signing isn’t the only news on the block – read below for more MLB Rumors
Los Angeles Dodgers to pursue Johnny Cueto?
Toronto Blue Jays re-sign Darwin Barney.
Houston Astros re-sign Tony Sipp.
Washington Nationals trade Yunel Escobar to the Angels.