When the Chicago Cubs initially signed Jason Heyward following the 2015 season, he was coming off a year in which he hit .293 to go along with 33 doubles with the St. Louis Cardinals. Since then, the Cubs have been waiting for Heyward to live up to his contract.
And waiting. And waiting.
Inked to an eight-year, $184 million deal, the McDonough, GA native delivered a World Series-winning speech during the Cubs’ 17-minute rain delay in Game 7. He’s played stellar defense in right field, winning multiple Gold Gloves, but offensively, he just hasn’t delivered.
And while he changed his batting stance and swing on several occasions, Heyward’s best season on the north side came in 2018 when he hit .270 with eight home runs and 57 RBI.
Now that the Cubs’ core has moved on, ownership must find a way to get rid of his contract.
Jason Heyward hasn’t lived up to his contract with the Chicago Cubs. Can the north siders find a way to off-load his salary?
Not just from a financial perspective, but with the Cubs giving some younger players a long look during their re-tool or rebuild, whatever you’d like to call it, Heyward’s contract keeps him in the lineup.
Including this season, the Cubs are on the hook for nearly $50 million with one year to go. As it currently stands, Chicago cannot trade Heyward unless they approach him and ask that he remove his full no-trade clause or work with him to find a team that he can better serve.
Perhaps a bad contract swap with another club could work. Remember, the Cubs swapped Milton Bradley for Carlos Silva after just one year into the former’s three-year deal.
Of course, the Cubs could outright release Heyward, but that should really be reserved as a last resort only. After all, he’s batting .267 in 13 games this season. That said, he’s had a long enough track record to know what you will get from him.
The Cubs aren’t going to make the playoffs with or without Jason Heyward. Why not try to off-load him to make way for more playing time for guys like Michael Hermosillo and Alfonso Rivas to see what you have in those players?
It will be difficult to move his contract but not impossible. It’s time to move on and wipe the slate clean.