Update 12/15/15 – Heyward’s press conference was today, and with that, all of the specific details of his contract were made public.
- ’16 – $15M
- ’17 – $21.5M
- ’18 – $21.5M
- ’19 – $20M
- ’20 – $21M
- ’21 – $21M
- ’22 – $22M
- ’23 – $22M
He gets a full no-trade clause in ’16-’18, then a limited no-trade in ’19 & ’20. If he’s still with the team after that point, he’ll get no-trade powers through his 5/10 rights.
There’s a $20M signing bonus, all of which has been deferred until 2024-2027, when it will be paid out over those four years in $5M chunks.
He can opt-out after 2018. If he doesn’t, he can also opt-out after 2019, but only if he gets 550 PA’s in 2019.
Still no official word on the specifics of the contract, but there is this…
Maybe it’s a shorter deal (6-7 years) with a higher AAV ($25M) that lets him get back out on the market in his early 30’s in time to sign another mega-deal? Who knows at this point.
Updates on the specifics will be added here as they are made public.
The “Best Fans In Baseball” are taking it well…
Sadly, this could mean saying goodbye to Soler…
Some kind of Soler+Hammel package would make sense, not only to clear a bit of salary, but also to clear a spot for this new SP they are reportedly targeting.
In a best-case situation, Heyward simply slides in to the CF spot and Soler doesn’t go anywhere.
Zobrist – Heyward – Rizzo – Bryant – Schwarber – Soler – Montero – Russell – (pitcher’s spot) is a pretty damned outstanding lineup.
So…yeah. This is a good day to be a Cub fan. Heyward isn’t known for being an overpowering force in the batting order, but like Zobrist a few days ago, he’s got a high-contact, high-OBP and low-strikeout profile, which will complement the swing-and-miss thumpers like Bryant and Schwarber.
Run prevention matters just as much as run creation, and in that department, Heyward is well beyond other mere mortals and, as the center fielder, would do a lot to cover up the defensively shortcomings of Schwarber and Soler in the corners.
EDIT #1 –
I’ll take that.
Quick side story — Years ago, when Jim Hendry was the Cubs’ GM, Gordo was an very reliable source of information. When Hendry left, Gordo’s inside man left with him and he spent a few years just being mad at everything. Then he spent a couple years making things up and generally being wrong about everything. Earlier this offseason he had reported that Castro had been told that he wouldn’t be traded, which made it a near-certainty that he would. And he was. But Gordo was right on top of this particular signing. Strange days.
EDIT #2 –
That’s an AAV of $23M. That’s a huge bargain for a 5-6 fWAR player.
I’d bet there’s an opt-out in place somewhere, but I’m fine with that. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it’s timed to go off right around when Bryant, Schwarber, and Russell start getting their arbitration raises.
EDIT #3 –
It seems there’s not one, but two opt-outs.
That first one after 3 years would indeed be in line with those arbitration raises. I’m obviously still curious as to what the year-by-year salary breakdown is, but at least in theory, I’ve got no problems with potentially getting his late-20’s seasons and then saying goodbye before his legs give out.