Longtime Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward agreed to the terms of a minor-league contract with the Dodgers.
The Cubs released Heyward earlier this offseason after the veteran struggled offensively over the past two seasons. Knee issues limited Heyward to only 48 games last season.
The 33-year-old will be a non-roster invitee to spring training.
Heyward is a five-time Gold Glove winner and was a member of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship team.
He signed an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Cubs prior to the start of the 2016 season. Chicago will still be responsible for Heyward’s $22 million salary for the 2023 season. The Dodgers will pay him the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary if he makes their big league roster.
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Heyward joining the Dodgers days after the Cubs agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million deal with outfielder Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger was named the 2019 National League MVP and has spent his entire career with the Dodgers.
In September, Heyward reflected on his time with the Cubs and said he wanted to continue playing.
“We’ll see what happens, we’ll see what options are presented,” Heyward said. “Because it’s a different playing field now as far as who’s interested. I also have to be realistic about their roles that they think I should be in. Is that minor-league invite? Is that the possibility of saying, ‘We want you on this team. We’re here to win and compete, and we understand what you bring in a winning environment.'”
Heyward made his major league debut in 2010 with the Atlanta Braves. He had a stint with the Cardinals before he joined the Cubs in 2016.
Heyward hit only .211/.280/.326 over the last two seasons. He previously was able to rely on his outstanding defense, but his defensive prowess has not been as sharp as he’s aged.
Now, Heyward gets a chance to revitalize his career, without having to face the pressure of immediately stepping in to fill a void on the big league roster.
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