The Dodgers announced Thursday afternoon that they have signed Jason Heyward to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training. This gives the veteran outfielder a chance to catch on with a contender in what could be his final season, plus there’s no risk to the Dodgers because the Cubs are paying Heyward $22 million not to play for them.
The Cubs and Dodgers effectively swapped outfielders, what with Cody Bellinger coming to the North Side after being non-tendered ahead of what would have been his final year of arbitration. What’s really wild is that the Cubs are paying out a total of $39.5 million while the Dodgers would be on the hook for $720,000 at the most if Heyward makes the roster. That amount would at least come off the Cubs’ bill, so it’s pretty much a wash.
It’s a little difficult to see Heyward being able to stick in LA after things got so rough in Chicago that the Cubs believed a roster spot was more valuable, but the Dodgers love having a grizzled veteran or three around. I really hope he’s able to make a go of it because he’s a good dude who was saddled with unrealistic expectations that he wasn’t able to live up to in Chicago.
My hope is that getting away from the Cubs as a player will allow his legacy to be retconned so that he’s properly viewed as one of the heroes rather than a miscast villain. Best of luck in SoCal, J-Hey.