In appreciation of Jason Heyward

In appreciation of Jason Heyward

Published August 9, 2022
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Monday evening, before the Cubs game against the Nationals, President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer told reporters that Jason Heyward wouldn’t play again this year and that he’d be released at the end of the season, as Josh posted here. The Cubs, said Hoyer, have younger outfielders they want to look at, and Heyward doesn’t fit into their future plans.

Heyward’s career as a Cub has been controversial among many, due to the fact that his production didn’t live up to the money he was given — it’s still, by total dollars, the largest contract in Cubs franchise history. Presuming this is the end for him as a Cub, he hit .245/.323/.377 (85 OPS+) with 62 home runs in 744 games, worth 8.9 bWAR. That’s about 1.3 bWAR per season, obviously not what anyone had hoped for or expected.

Heyward was coming off a productive season in St. Louis when the Cubs signed him — a year worth 6.9 bWAR. Even if he’d done half that each year through his Cubs career it would have been worth it. But he didn’t. A lot of his failures were due to injuries. Heyward did not play 150 games in any of his seven Cubs seasons, and though he had decent years in 2019 and the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, 2021 and 2022 again were ruined by various injuries.

Through all of that, Heyward never made excuses, always worked hard and was a good teammate, and did win two Gold Gloves as a Cub and provided solid defense up to last year, when it was clear he was slowing down in right field.