Cubs Plan to Release Jason Heyward From Final Year of Deal
Cubs president Jed Hoyer announced Monday the club intends to release veteran outfielder Jason Heyward from the final year of his deal at the end of the 2022 season.
“I’ve talked to Jason about this, and he’s been such a great pro with us and a leader, and we want to have him around the team this year. But we’re not going to have him with the team next year, ” Hoyer said, via CHGO Sports. “We’ve already talked to him about that. We want to give him the full offseason to be able to go out and find an opportunity.”
Hoyer told reporters Heyward, who has been on the injured list since June 27 with a knee injury, will not suit up again this season but will remain with the team as an inactive player due to his status as a leader in the clubhouse, per The Athletic. The 32-year-old is owed $22 million in 2023, the final season of a massive eight-year, $184 million contract he signed in December ’15.
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Monday’s news signals a disappointing end to Heyward’s tenure in Chicago, which brought great expectations after the once-coveted free agent inked the largest contract in franchise history. His struggles at the plate in the years since helping the Cubs end their 108-year World Series drought in 2016 had continued into the ’22 season, with Heyward batting .204 with one homer and 10 RBI across 137 at-bats in 48 games.
Over his seven seasons with the Cubs, Heyward logged a .245/.323/.377 batting line with 62 homers in 2,522 plate appearances. In addition to earning his first and only World Series ring, Heyward also earned his fourth and fifth career Golden Glove Awards with the team in 2016 and ’17, making him MLB’s first position player to win the award three straight times with three different teams.
Prior to his time with the Cubs, Heyward spent the 2015 season with the Cardinals after spending his first five years with the Braves. He earned his only career All-Star nod as a rookie in ’10, turning in a superb first season en route to finishing second in NL Rookie of the Year voting and 20th in NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting, the first of three times he’d received MVP votes, which hasn’t happened since 2015.
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