Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Jason Heyward Reveals Why He Signed with LA

Jason Heyward was one of the top players in baseball early in his career, with a Hall of Fame trajectory over his first six seasons with Atlanta and St. Louis. Through age 25, his 29.8 career WAR was among the baseball legends to start a career, surrounded by guys like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Barry Bonds.

Things immediately went downhill when he signed an eight-year deal with the Cubs prior to the 2016 season. He had been 14 percent better than league average offensively with elite outfield defense in his first six years; in his seven years in Chicago, he was 14 percent worse than average and merely good defensively, leading the Cubs to release him with a year left on his contract.

The Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal last week, and in an interview with Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times, Heyward talked about why he chose L.A. over some of the other teams that courted him.

“They have a reputation for doing things in a special way, getting the most out of everyone involved,” Heyward said by phone this week in his first interview since signing with the team. “For them to reach out to me, and want me to have an opportunity to be part of that process, that made it that much easier. …

“I want to be the best version of myself,” he said. “And the Dodgers, I feel like, give me a really, really great opportunity to do that.”

After having what looked like a bounce-back season in the pandemic-shortened 2020, Heyward has struggled with injuries the last two years. The Dodgers are hoping a clean bill of health, combined with a lot of hard with with L.A.’s hitting team, will help Heyward become a productive player again.

That hard work started this week at Dodger Stadium and will continue throughout the offseason. If the Jason Heyward Experiment doesn’t work out, it won’t be because of a lack of effort.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. Ok. So after 7 years of below league average mediocrity at age 37 he thinks the dodgers can fix him? Or maybe because if he retires he won’t collect his 20 million. At least he would be an upgrade over belli.

  2. Hayward at age 33 has made a bank load of money,but is willing to grind it out with the D’s minor leaguers to stay in baseball.With the proper mind set and hitting instructor,it’s worth rolling the dice on him.

  3. He signed with the Dodgers, because if he has a 200 strike out season neither the manager or the front office will notice.

  4. Spot on Hoak, he like all of us had to be wondering how players like Mckinnley -Neuse,even Bellinger stayed in the line up when a college player could have done better. Heyward if paid a dime by the desperate dodgers will be a win win for him….

  5. I may be wrong, but does it look to anyone else, or is it just me, that the Dodgers are playing for 2nd place in their division in the upcoming season?

  6. Is it just me, or does it look like the Dodgers are looking to play for second place in their division for the upcoming season?

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