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Cubs’ Jed Hoyer: Jason Heyward likely has played final game as Cub

Hoyer: Heyward likely has played final game with Cubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Cubs president Jed Hoyer on Monday said the team won’t recreate Jason Heyward for the ultimate year of the largest contract in franchise history.

Heyward, who signed an eight-year, $184 million free agent deal prior to the 2016 season, likely has played his final game as a Cub, said Hoyer, who expects him to stay on the injured list the rest of the growing season.

Heyward has been on the IL since June 27 due to a knee injury.

Following the season, “We’ll go inside our separate directions,” said Hoyer, who has “talked a whole lot [with Heyward] about where things ‘re going in the foreseeable future.”

Which means releasing Heyward by the end of the growing season and eating the ultimate year of salary on the offer.

“He’abeen this type of great pro around and a leader,” Hoyer said. “You want to have him round the team around this season, but we’re not likely to have him with the team next year.

“Wewant to provide him the entire offseason in order to go out and discover a chance. And for all of us, given where we have been as an organization and where we will be in the corner outfield next year with Seiya [Suzuki] and Ian [Happ] we will move in another direction.”

Hoyer expressed a need to maintain ties with Heyward after he’s done playing, given his off-field and clubhouse influence.

Heyward, 32, earned two of his five career Gold Gloves in right field with the Cubs and was the first choice of the famed rain-delay players meeting in the 10th inning of Game 7 prior to going to win that 2016 World Series.

But he never came near delivering offensively on the enormous contract, hitting just .245 with 62 home runs and a .700 OPS in 744 games as a Cub. That included bottoming out this season with a .204 average, seven extra-base hits (one homer) and .556 OPS in 48 games.

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