Free agent OF Jason Heyward chooses the Chicago Cubs

Heyward chooses Cubs, snubs Cardinals

Outfielder Jason Heyward, the most important position player on the free agent market, has been signed by the Chicago Cubs. He chose not to return to the St. Louis Cardinals where he played one-year with the Cardinals after being traded last offseason from the Atlanta Braves.

The news was first reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times and has since been confirmed by MLB insiders like CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports’.

In 2015 Heyward won his third Gold Glove Award in right field. He batted .293 with 13 home runs, 60 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.

Early estimates put the deal at around $180 million. It is believed to be a bit lower than the $200 million offered by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Heyward, 26,  is the second free agent that the St. Louis Cardinals have lost to their NL Central rivals. Pitcher John Lackey37, signed a two-year deal to start for the Cubs in 2016, after having one of, if not the best seasons of his long baseball career in 2015.

This development means that youngster Jorge Soler may be moved, if not now then at some point in the near future. Multiple reports like this one from Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi are coming out that the Cubs are not done making moves. They are still on the market for a starting pitcher.

Could Soler end up helping the Cubs bring in their new pitcher via trade or will they go after one of the still-available free agent pitchers? 

We will have to wait and see. What is getting more and more obvious is that the team on the Northside of Chicago seems to be the destination for important free agents. More and more people are beginning to believe that the Curse of the Billy Goat may finally be broken.

*I will be updating this post as new information is made available!

The actual deal did end up being around $180 million. It was actually $184 million for eight years and the contract includes not one, but two occasions upon which Heyward can opt-out of the contract and test the free agent market. That may happen but right now the Cubs seem like the destination team for players around the league. 

When they signed Ben Zobrist, he said he was there to win a World Series in a Cubs uniform. Most of the Cubs are young, sure. However, look how close they got in 2015, almost fulfilling Back to the Future Part II’s prophesy. It wasn’t to be in 2015 but the curse of the Billy Goat should be a memory very soon.

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