It’s been known for quite a while that Jason Heyward‘s performance, regardless of the size of his contract, was nowhere near where it needed to be to help the Cubs win. His offense has fallen off dramatically in recent years and his defense has headed south as well.
Heyward was placed on the IL back on June 30 and there have been no real updates on his status since. Until now.
Jed Hoyer stated today that the Cubs are planning to release Heyward from the final year of his contract. The plan is to keep him around as an inactive player until the end of this year.
Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer says the team is “going to move in a different direction” with Jason Heyward after this season. Has met with Heyward, who will remain with club (while on IL) the rest of the way this year. pic.twitter.com/QypbrkzIUu
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 8, 2022
Per Jed Hoyer, the Cubs are planning to release Jason Heyward, who’s on the injured list, from the final year (2023) of his $184 million contract, but will keep him around as an inactive player for the rest of this season because he’s highly respected in the clubhouse.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 8, 2022
Regardless of how you feel about Heyward as a person, this move is absolutely the right direction for the team and should give all Cubs fans some faith in Hoyer’s ability to manage this rebuild going forward. Yes, Heyward is a stellar guy, he was a key piece of the Cubs’ World Series team, is a great teammate, and a fantastic dude in the Chicago-area community, but this is a move that has to happen to ensure younger guys get playing time.
We’ll have to see where Heyward lands after the season. He could stick around Chicago and continue to work with the Cubs, he could try to catch on with another team, although that really feels unlikely given how much Heyward has personally invested in the Chicago community not to mention the multi-million dollar baseball academy bearing his name that’s being completed on Chicago’s west side.