Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs – Update : Contract specifics finally made known

 

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 –

Oh my.

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.

 

 

 

 

106 thoughts on “Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs – Update : Contract specifics finally made known

      • I think we’ll lose both the 1st and 2nd round picks, but we’ll still get our compensation pick between those rounds when Fowler signs somewhere.

        I’m not absolutely sure about that though…

        Like

        • So when Fowler signs, we’ll lose that pick immediately…but then get our 2nd round pick as normal? Alright.

          Ya know what, I don’t even actually care. There was a time a few years ago when the team was rebuilding and restocking that all of that would have mattered to me…but that time has passed.

          Like

      • Well, in the technical sense baseball doesn’t take or award any picks at this stage of the game. But practically speaking, Fowler signing elsewhere saves you guys your second-rounder, yes.

        Like

  1. Surprised he turned down the Nats 200 mil offer. Would have made for a powerful 1-2 punch with Harper. Although I suppose the Cards are more of a favorite to win now, where the Nats are a should be but aren’t winning now. Heyward had a career year last year, but he’s only 25, so he could easily improve over the next few seasons. Early indications are the Cubs got a pretty good deal here.

    Like

      • No, but I also don’t believe Papelbon will be on the roster come opening day. But still, to leave 15 mil on the table is a lot. Of course we don’t know specifics, but it’s really telling that a player would take that lower offer to play in Chicago.

        Cubs were good before, now they’re scary.

        Like

      • Actually, taking less money to come to Chicago is becoming more of a trend than an outlier.

        Jon Lester did it last year, turning down more money from the Giants.
        Zobrist did it already this year, turning down a bigger offer (presumably from the Mets).
        Even swing-man Cahill signed up to be a swing-man again rather than try to land a better deal elsewhere, one that would come with a chance to establish himself as a full-time rotation piece.

        Now add Heyward to that list.

        Wrigley is the place to be.

        Like

  2. Who is Soler? I’m not a NL guy, so I don’t know everyone on the Cub’s roster. Are the Cubs looking to trade him? Does he play outfield? Should I as an Orioles fan, a team desperate for outfield help be learning about this guy? Is he a defense guy or a contact or a power guy?

    Like

    • He’s a ballplayer from Cuba (I call him George Sun). Yes, they have fielded and made offers with him in the package and I think they do seriously want to move him. Yes, he plays RF. Yes, you should but not necessarily for fielding. He’s supposed to be a power guy.

      Like

      • I don’t know if they “want” to move him, but they are certainly willing to. He’s also somewhere in the middle of a 9y/$30M contract, so he’s massively affordable. Pretty sure he was the very last player signed before some of the international signing restrictions got put in place.

        He was supposedly a primary piece in the Shelby Miller negotiations, but when the Braves also asked for Kris Bryant in addition, the Cubs politely told them to kiss their ass.

        Like

      • I think Soler could learn to play a passable RF. He’s got a huge cannon of an arm. He just needs to get better at reading the ball and his route-taking.

        He’ll never be a plus-defender, but his arm alone is reason enough to keep him out there.

        Like

      • Sounds like he’s right up Baltimore’s ally. They love hitters with power, and right field is not that difficult to play in Baltimore. They also may have some room at first/dh if/when Davis does not pan out. They also need another starting pitcher. Also, there’s a bit of history between the two teams in terms of trades. I feel like they still owe us for Jake Arrieta.

        Like

        • A) We already compensated you for Arrieta with the Tommy Hunter for Junior Lake trade. It’s not our fault if you weren’t savvy enough to hold on to Lake…

          B) Cubs are looking for a starter. Some of the names being thrown around right now are Tyson Ross, Danny Salazar, and my personal preference, Carlos Carrasco. You got anything like that in exchange for Soler?

          Like

    • I just see that as fairly concrete evidence that he can most definitely handle CF between Soler and the Warbird. Let him roam from alley-to-alley while the bricks with legs shag flies in the corners.

      Like

      • Well, that may be an option, yes. I know Fowler, who did that last year, is an FA, and wasn’t great at doing that.

        That said, both the Barves and the Cards generally avoided playing him in CF. Just 32 games total, with below-average range factor there, per B-Ref.

        Like

        • Who was the 3rd non-Cub team chasing after Heyward? Maybe the Angels?

          Like

        • And … maybe Heyward thought there would be more pressure with a higher contract? Thought he could get more power in Wrigley? This sounds weird.

          And, to be honest, IF Mozeliak can make a reasonable replacement deal, it sounds weird enough I’m fine with him walking.

          Like

    • I missed this earlier…

      Without knowing what those thresholds are, I take this to mean that his opt-outs can only be triggered if he’s basically healthy and playing pretty much every day.

      Don’t know that I’ve seen a clause like this before…

      Like

    • Wow, after reading that I’m sure Heyward couldn’t wait to get out of St. Louis. It kind of made my skin crawl.

      BTW, Lefty, we know that nothing is certain in life, but your Cubbies are certainly locked and loaded. I would agree that now you unload some of those young future stars for a good, established pitcher.

      Still curious about why he took less money. I will tell you that on quality of life, if my choice was San Francisco, LA, NY or St. L, I would choose Chicago also. I have loved that town every time I have visited. But he’s a little different. He can buy a mansion on a mountain and commute to work.

      I’m guessing it’s the opt out clauses.

      Like

      • Winning on paper and/or winning the offseason is certainly not the same as winning the actual games…that’s absolutely true.

        But I definitely prefer being a fan of a team that’s added something in the neighborhood of 10-12 projected WAR than a team that hasn’t done that. When does spring training start? I’m kinda ready now.

        As for Heyward, part of it is probably the opt-outs. Getting back on the FA market for a second time while still in his 20’s has to be a good thing. Then again, he’s now the third “big name” free agent to take less guaranteed money to play in Chicago…Lester and Zobrist did the same.

        Like

      • Right now you can see the difference between the Cubs and the Astros (besides the fact that the Cubs will always have more money than Houston) is the Astros are still filling obvious gaps. Chicago is a year ahead and into full WS competition mode.

        Like

        • A fairly big part of being a year ahead comes from Bryant working out a lot better for us than Appel did for you. (I just saw where he was part of the package that went to Philly for Giles)

          Like

      • Agreed. If Bryant was an Astro now (I thought at the time they should have taken him with the #1) it would have made a huge difference. Just on the numbers, that puts the Astros over 90 wins last year.

        But they still have the huge hole at first base, need a back-up catcher, and an upgrade at third. A lot of those players are on the way, but it may be 2017.

        Like

  3. Well, this was disappointing….for about an hour. Then I realized that the Cardinals probably aren’t going to spend money on anyone actually useful this year….or next year (because next year’s FA class is really shitty)….and I was annoyed and pissed.

    Given how great it has been to be a Cardinal fan, it would be greedy to expect to be the favorite every year….so I am trying to be philosophical, but the Cardinals knew they had 2 chances to add a difference maker this year and they whiffed on both of them….plan B is probably to do nothing because the other options are likely to represent bad deals.

    For the Cubs, I think this is really a 3 year deal (unless they are unlucky, because only an injured or under performing Heyward doesn’t opt out) that represents them going for it the next few years before their young guys start to get big raises (assuming they keep producing) and the older pitching declines (or gets hurt).

    Like

      • I’m not sure what happens with the deferment on his signing bonus if he opts out. I assume he’d still get it, but maybe the payouts get moved up or pushed back or something.

        If he opts out after 3 years, then it’s a 3y/$78M deal ($58M salary + $20M bonus)…and that’s not bad at all. He should easily out-produce that on the field.

        Like

      • Assuming he is healthy and productive, that is exactly what it is…and the Cubs may be hoping he takes it considering how expensive some of their other young guys will be getting in 3 years as many will be into their 2nd arb years by then since they’ll probably be super twos.

        Like

      • Yeah, the timing of those opt-outs work well for both sides. Heyward could get back on the FA market for a 2nd time while still in his 20’s….and the Cubs get back a bunch of money to spend on the Bryant/Russell/Schwarber/Soler/Baez group, or whichever of them are still on the team.

        Heyward did wear #22 today, so if you happened to get your hands on a Russell #22 jersey last year, that might well turn into a nice little collector’s item.

        Like

      • Yeah, I saw. Essentially that means “we aren’t doing jack fucking squat for 2 or 3 years” because their ain’t shit available in the FA market the next couple of years….and the prices on the trade market are freaking crazy.

        Like

        • Miller sucked in 2014 and likely wouldn’t have had the superficially nice numbers he put up in Atlanta. He isn’t going to face offenses as bad as Miami, NYM, and Philly a dozen times playing in a different division.

          Like

        • Yeah, I’m more dreaming, but dreaming of Enciarte roaming the spacious Busch CF. That said, yes, on Miller. All he really did, by analytic numbers, was to rebound to his 2013 performance while pitching 20 more innings.

          Like

      • Here is the thing that is really pissing me off about how the Cardinals handled this offseason.

        For years now they’ve been talking about “payroll muscle” while not actually increasing payroll or every playing in the top end of the FA market.

        The difference between the biggest spenders and the mid-market teams shouldn’t how much you spend on your most expensive acquisitions, but how many of those expensive acquisitions you can make. The D-Backs (can’t believe I am saying this) did it right. They identified a top target they felt was relatively low risk and spend what was necessary to get him. If the Cardinals paid top dollar for Price or Heyward, that would be fine as they are relatively low risk FAs. What you shouldn’t do as a mid-market team is spend $15-20M on a number of relatively risky FAs…now you are going after risky and mid-tier guys and more likely to be wasting money. Better to spend big on a smart option than to spend badly on multiple less smart options.

        And here is what really pisses me off, the Cardinals knew all of this before negotiations started. The identified the smart options (Price and Heyward) and ignored every other FA…but then instead of doing what had to be done to get them, they folded. Well, guess when one of those smart options is going to be available again? Maybe 3 years from now. WTF do you do with all of that “payroll muscle” for the next 3 years? They should have saved enough the last few years to be able to blow past their annual budget….but they fucked it all up and are now left with their dicks in their hands.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s only baseball.

        Recovery from baseball disappointment is pretty quick for me. Having dogs is like a constant balm for the soul that heals life’s little wounds almost instantly.

        Like

        • Oh, hold on. I am replying through the pull down menu, which doesn’t show links or photos or anything…or even hint that they are there.

          Like

        • How warm is next week supposed to be where you are?

          Here, the highs from the 22nd-25th are 53, 54, 62, 64, and 57 with night time lows from 39 to 52.

          It has only been cool enough to build a fire in the stove about 6 or 7 nights so far this year.

          Like

        • We’re supposed to be about the same. Not very Christmasy. We haven’t had but one fire too. That’s weird for you all. You better get some snow soon.

          Like

        • Talked to my sister earlier, they went do a place called Silver Dollar City in southern MO (well known tourist thing, I’m just not sure if people not from MO know about it) to see their Christmas lights last weekend. I somewhat joking asked, “Get some icecream did ya?”….and they did, ice creams and root beer floats, while looking at Christmas decorations with temps in the high 70s. Just weird.

          Like

        • Yeah, I know…but remember, I left the mid-west when I was 18, I really have no idea who knows about any of the things I was exposed to as a kid….it isn’t like people any of the other places I’ve lived knew about these things, and OK is a large place…though Tulsa is fairly close to MO….how was I supposed to know that you guys were so bored that you’d go to SDC….I figured you probably just got drunk when you got bored, like normal people.

          Like

        • You know. I really have no idea exactly where Silver Dollar City is….it always seemed like a long drive, but then I was 10 or 12…so anything more than 10 minutes was a long drive.

          No, I didn’t realize you were in high school when prohibition ended.

          Like

        • Okay, so I looked….and holy crap SDC is way farther away from StL than it seemed like it should have been….and way closer to Tulsa, actually. My memory is that we took day trips there, but we probably were already somewhere else closer and just went there for a day during a longer trip.

          Like

        • The 6 Flags outside of StL, or did you guys go to one in TX….because, yeah, SDC is much closer to Tulsa than that 6 Flags is.

          Like

        • I guess I didn’t remember there was one in STL. Mostly, we drove through MO to go to MI, although my sister goes to KC a lot now. After my dad and brother moved to TX, we always went south.

          Like

  4. I don’t know if the Cards, the Nats or the Angels offers included deferred money. If they didn’t, he took a lot less to go to Chicago, then. Dunno what those teams had in the way of opt-outs, but interesting.

    Like

    • Heyward said in the presser that he didn’t take the biggest dollar amount. Talked about being “part of a family” in Chicago and liked what he saw in the Cubs dugout while looking in from across the field.

      And also this…

      I’m assuming he’s talking about Heyward, Zobrist, Lackey, and Cahill here…unless there’s some mystery FA signing he’s keeping secret.

      Like

      • That’s pretty disingenuous though. He signed a deal with the highest AAV and the most beneficial opt out structure (which has value in itself).

        Like

        • That’s still leaving guaranteed money on the table. He’s betting on himself to have a few very productive years and get more money down the line, rather than take a bigger slice of a sure thing right now.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Given the time value of money, it is a really easy bet to make. He’s getting paid MORE now than he would have been paid, and can opt out to sign an even bigger deal before he’s 30….or wind up making essentially the same money because he being paid the money sooner than he would have via the other deals and still be a FA a couple of years sooner.

          Like

      • I saw the “family” part on the MLB.com presser. So, did he not feel like he fit in the StL dugout?

        Also, I still think that he’s got some sort of “block,” or something, about playing CF instead of right. We’ll find out.

        Like

      • Also, as someone that roots for a team who’s fanbase consistently buys into the “guys just want to play for our club because it is a great organization blah blah blah”…..beware of this narrative. Every guy that signs says the same crap at their press conference about family, direction of the organization, talent, championship opportunities, etc…..I mean, what else are the supposed to say?

        Like

        • Oh, I’m not saying I believe any of it. Of course he’s going to say stuff like that.

          He’s in Chicago for because they gave him the best contract structure for what he wants to accomplish and they provide one of the best, if not the best, chances to win a championship in the next three years.

          Like

        • Yep, if I’m a FA…that’s where I’m looking to play the next 5 years. Best chance to win a WS or multiple WS. Should be a highly desirable destination for older guys looking for one last shot at a WS title every year….same reason the Cardinals were able to get Berkman and Beltran cheap.

          Like

        • Also….if I’m a black man….I’d much rather live in or around Chicago than around StL. No where is perfect, but the StL area is just as racist as anywhere in the deeper south.

          Liked by 1 person

        • You don’t have to tell me…I live across the river in IL. I make considerable effort to not cross that river unless it’s absolutely necessary (or if I decide to go blow some money at REI).

          Like

        • If you don’t mind me asking, where? I grew up across the river from StL in Granite City. Still have some family there (and really, in many of the cities around there on both sides of the river, it’s a big family), but now my mom lives in South County and my dad in Collinsville.

          Like

        • I’m in Glen Carbon now. Spent a few years in Edwardsville before that.

          Used to buy weed from a guy in Collinsville, but I suspect it wasn’t your dad…

          Like

      • Soler kinda sucked last year. Trading him now is selling low. The defense is obviously bad, and not likely to improve with age…if he can’t be well above average hitter, he’s pretty useless. He’s young enough, that I’m sure teams love his upside…but no one is giving up Carrasco or Ross with Soler as the main piece in this trade environment….not even sure if both Baez and Soler would be enough, given the relative risks they carry due to having down years last year…which is probably why they still haven’t made a deal for a pitcher.

        That might seem crazy because of the hype and tools each guy has….but when guys don’t perform and have obvious holes in their game, teams aren’t giving valuable things like Carrasco or Ross for them.

        Like

        • Soler is under control for the next five years at a total of $18M. Yes, he can opt into arbitration when he becomes eligible, but that’s still a ton of team control. That, combined with the upside and tools and love from the scouts, has teams interested. Precisely how interested remains up for debate.

          I’d be perfectly happy to go into 2016 with Heyward in CF and Soler in RF. Hell, I’d be happy with the roster as it stands right now. I don’t think there’s any moves they have to make, but I’m pretty sure they are still looking for possible options to improve the chances to win now. Trading Soler seems like a fairly obvious option.

          Like

        • Yeah, I know. The combination of control and tools is enticing. But you have to compete with other offers, and there is a LOT of risk with him. He is all bat and no defense. If he doesn’t hit, that control isn’t worth much….just 3 good months will see his value rebound…but right now, his value is relatively low. I think that is why you see so much about shopping him with nothing getting done..the value in trade just isn’t there right now. Same for Baez. These guys had unsustainable BABIPs of .361 and .412, and still were below average hitters (wRC+ of 96 and 98) last year. Teams would love to have them, but they aren’t giving up know productive players for them right now.

          Like

        • That’s all fair. The Diamondbacks giving up half the galaxy for Miller really torqued the trade market all out of whack, not that anyone is going to give that much of a haul for Carrasco or Ross, but it still elevated their prices and strengthened the dealing position their teams have.

          And it might not even take 3 months to boost Soler’s value. Being able to trade Castro, without eating a penny of his contract, for an entirely useful already pitcher with mid-rotation upside was pretty huge, and that came after just 6-7 weeks. He was worse-than-worthless in terms of trade value after that -1 wRC+ in July last year.

          Maybe the next bit of business should simply be to extend Theo’s contract. I don’t think he’s got any ideas about moving on to some other job, but it’s still something that needs to be settled. I expect he’ll get a pretty pile of shiny coin…

          Like

        • I think they genuinely want to keep Baez though. Maddon and others see him as a Zobrist 2.0 type of guy. He can already play anywhere in the infield, and he’s getting reps in CF in winter ball.

          Like

Join in on the conversation!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s