Heyward signs an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have continued their relatively resplendent offseason by signing the best young outfielder on the market in Jason Heyward to a $184 million contract; the deal will keep him in “Shy Town” for the next eight seasons. The deal also includes two opt-outs including one three years into the contract. Heyward signed with the Cubbies despite the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals both, reportedly, offering more than $200 million for his services, according to Jason Heyman of CBS Sports.
Heyward is widely regarded as the best young defensive outfielder in baseball prior to the 2015 campaign and the 6’5 Ridgewood, New Jersey native continued his offensive ascension, batting .293, recording a career-high 160 hits and sporting a .359 On-Base percentage in 154 games. The three-time Gold Glover had the second-highest defensive WAR of his career last season in Missouri, at 3.8 and has the highest WAR of his career at 6.5.
With Jorge Soler in right field and Kyle Schwarber in left field chances are Heyward will end up in center field, a position formerly held down by Matt Szczur prior to the former first round pick’s acquisition. Last season, Heyward spent 32 games and 233.0 innings in center, and has yet to make an error, he also has a pair of outfield assists. In his career 6989.1 innings in the outfield the former Brave and Cardinal has only committed 21 errors.
With Ben Zobrist’s versatility to roam the outfield and the dependable Chris Coghlin still a member of the organization the Heyward signing leaves prospect Arismendy Alcantara with few places to go. The only two holes the Cubs had, and Alcantara could’ve played, second and center, were filled through free agency.
With the improvements the Cubs have made this offseason they have propelled themselves equal to, if not in front of, the New York Mets as NL favorites. The Cubs acquired Adam Warren, Rex Brothers, John Lackey, Ben Zobrist and Hayward, among others. On paper, Chicago’s favourite bandwagon franchise is now one of the best teams in the MLB.

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