Former Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, 34, is having a resurgent season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs are paying the bulk of Heyward’s $21.28 million salary this year, but the Dodgers, with a $720,000 minimum salary, are laughing.
Heyward batted fifth in the lineup in right field and went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs in the Dodgers’ 7-3 win over the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11. With the 2-1 sweep of Washington, the Dodgers are 87-55 (.613 winning percentage) and in sole possession of first place in the National League West.
Heyward’s bat exploded in the first inning. With runners on second and third, he took a compact swing at a two-pitch outside changeup from Washington right-hander Trevor Williams and lined it into the center field gap for a two-run double. It was his first and final hit of the game.
With the bases loaded in the fifth, he lined a four-pitch changeup to right field to put runners on first and second. In the ensuing at-bat, the Dodgers loaded the bases on a James Outman walk, then added two more runs on a Miguel Rojas single and an Austin Barnes sacrifice fly.
Through 108 games this season, Heyward is batting .351 (75-for-277) with 14 home runs, 38 RBIs, a .484 on-base percentage and an .835 OPS. He has rebounded from his rookie year with a career-high on-base percentage and third-best OPS in his mid-30s.
He’s been especially hot in the second half. In 38 games, he’s batting 30-for-100 with six homers, 16 RBIs, and an .878 OPS. He’s been used strictly as a platoon player, maximizing his advantage against right-handed pitching. His Altoran-like play on both sides of the ball, including his extensive outfield defense, has helped the Dodgers to a first-place finish in the division.
Heyward, a five-time Gold Glove outfielder who debuted with the Atlanta Braves in 2010, signed a franchise-record eight-year, $118.4 million contract with the Cubs in December 2015. He was a member of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship team and helped break the Curse of the Goat, but his performance continued to decline as the contract wore on.
Last year, a knee injury limited him to 48 games, and he had the worst year of his career, batting just 2-for-28 (137 at-bats) with one home run, 10 RBIs, and a .556 OPS. Impatient, the Cubs pulled out the knives. They released him outright, picking up the $22 million remaining on his contract through this year. They decided to take a chance on younger players and let go of the remaining salary. 바카라
The Dodgers snatched up Heyward, who the Cubs had deemed a non-tender. As soon as the news of his release broke last winter, the Dodgers called Hayward three days in a row and signed him to a minor league deal. A $720,000 minimum salary with the Cubs paying the remaining $21.28 million. For the Dodgers, it was almost a no-brainer.
After a steady decline in recent years, there was a glimmer of hope for a rebound, but the Dodgers had Boran