In order for the Chicago Cubs to make one of our favorite Cubs rumors reality, they’re going to have to unload an albatross in Jason Heyward‘s contract.
With the Chicago Cubs’ reported limited ability to spend big this offseason, plenty of Cubs rumors have been splashed with cold water. The only way for this team to make a big splash? Move money around – and we’re not talking about a couple million here or there.
With the rest of the league, especially the NL Central, making big acquisitions to improve, a sense of anxiety has hit the air with Cubs fans as they wonder if they have what it takes to return to October in 2019. One big name that has arisen in trade rumors is a man who played a critical role in the team’s World Series championship – and currently enjoys a $184 million contract.
Jason Heyward marked the Cubs’ biggest free agent signing prior to the 2016 campaign. Since coming to Chicago, Heyward’s been a decent player, but definitely not worth the money. In three seasons, Heyward has batted .252 with an OPS of .688 and no All-Star appearances or postseason recognition (minus the rain delay speech).
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He does have two Gold Gloves from his time in Chicago to make things not as bad as they seem and Heyward may be a guy you want and need in the clubhouse, but it’d be silly not to entertain the idea of a trade.
Moving money to get a deal done
The rumors about Heyward going to the Giants honestly make sense. If the Cubs want to have a legitimate shot at Bryce Harper, trading Heyward would not only clear up cap space but a spot in right field.
San Francisco also makes sense as a team that has shown willingness to bring in stars that are a little bit older and take on a lot of their contract. The Giants also have a huge need for a defensive outfielder and a guy like Heyward who plays top-tier ‘D’ would give them a much-needed boost.
The former first-rounder is set to earn $20 million in 2019, $21 million in both 2020 and 2021 and $22 million in 2022 and 2023.
If the Giants could include Mark Melancon in a deal (not straight up), both sides may come out happy. The San Francisco right-hander is owed $14 million in each of the next two seasons.
Long-term implications for the team, roster
In this scenario, the Cubs may take a risk, but ultimately get save $13 million over two seasons, a reliever with the upside of a top-5 closer and then all that space clears up in 2021 for them to make big moves. Even if the team doesn’t land Harper or a big name this offseason, making a move of this nature would help this team for the future. It would also free up some more room in the outfield for younger stars to get more time and improve their game.
Heyward is a class act, and someone I love having in the clubhouse, but with his production since joining the Cubs, Theo definitely needs to entertain the idea of moving the right fielder in order to help this team improve not only right now, but in the future.