The problem between your Chicago Cubs and veteran outfielder Jason Heyward felt untenable.
A rebuilding Cubs organization attempting to look at other players didn’t match Heyward and his declining all-around production. What seemed inevitable became reality Monday when president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer announced the Cubs and Heyward will part ways following the season.
Hoyer had an open dialogue with Heyward concerning the Cubs plans, when a continued union between your sides didn’t seem sensible. The Cubs also desire to give Heyward the entire offseason to locate a new team.
Given where we have been as an organization and where were likely to be in the corner outfield next year, with Seiya (Suzuki) and Ian (Happ), were likely to move in another direction, Hoyer said. He struggled this past year obviously, and we wished to observe how he bounced back from that and he previously a fantastic 2020 season. … Obviously he didnt bounce back well from (2021).
Heyward, 32, is owed $22 million in 2023, the ultimate season of the eight-year, $184 million contract he signed with the Cubs on Dec. 15, 2015. The Cubs also must pay his $20 million signing bonus over four installments on April 1, 2024-27.
He doesnt enjoy it but certainly understands where we have been, Hoyer said. I believe its been a frustrating this past year . 5, with most of the guys which were a big section of why he signed here have already been traded away. Therefore it sort of made sense for both folks and weve talked through it and were in an excellent place.
Heyward was slashing .204/.278/.277 with a 57 OPS+ in 48 games before injuring his right knee in June. He finishes his Cubs career with 744 games played, a .245 batting average, .323 on-base percentage and .700 OPS.
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Most memorably, Heyward delivered a speech through the rain delay in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, giving the Cubs a spark in extra innings to win the franchises first title in 108 years.
Heyward isn’t likely to return prior to the end of the growing season due to right knee inflammation. The Cubs 40-man roster isn’t full, so procedurally they cant put Heyward, who has been out since June 27, on the 60-day injured list.
However, enough time Heyward would have to build back around be game-ready, combined with Cubs outfield depth, has Hoyer and the business attempting to reallocate at-bats to other players.
Hoyer described Heyward as an excellent professional and leader whom the Cubs wished to have round the team this season. There have been initial conversations about Heyward potentially having a job in the business once his playing career has ended.
Heywards investment in the Chicago community will outlast his amount of time in a Cubs uniform. Among his local contributions, Heyward is helping create a baseball academy in the North Austin neighborhood.
He certainly had his good moments here, but he previously lots of struggles aswell, Hoyer said, and when he previously those struggles, he never blamed anyone, never stopped working. He was always the guy that arrived in the very best shape getting into every season. He was always a man that has been in the cages looking to get better.
Thats probably how Ill remember him is he, from my perspective, never stopped working. He never stopped trying to earn his contract, never stopped attempting to be better, and that says a whole lot.