Chicago Cubs: Addressing the Jason Heyward trade rumors

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

A question of dollars

The problem is Samardzija’s actual value isn’t especially close to that of his contract. Finishing 2017 at 9-15 with a 4.42 ERA, Samardzija still has three years left on his current contract, with $19.8 million owed annually. That’s a problem.

The Cubs have a similar problem with Jason Heyward. Signing an eight-year, $184 million dollar deal before the 2016 season, Heyward has unquestionably fallen short of expectations, and by a wide margin.

The Cubs won the bidding war to get him coming off the best statistical season of his career. Only for Heyward to follow up with one of the worst seasons of his career. Things got better in 2017, but not by much. Not enough to truly be encouraged anyway. Surely, someone with the richest deal in team history shouldn’t be in a position where he has to re-establish his worth.

But that’s exactly where the Cubs are. Realistically, Heyward has performed like a player who shouldn’t be a regular starter. He’s a five-time Gold Glove winner; you’d be hard-pressed to find a better defensive right fielder. But he’s practically been dead weight at the plate. So much so, it’s likely getting difficult to justify playing him every day.