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Dodgers News: Jason Heyward Signs Minor League Deal with LA

The Dodgers have won the offseason! Kidding aside, the club announced a signing today bringing in five-time Gold Glove award winner Jason Heyward. It’s a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training.

Heyward is a bit of a headscratcher as the former All-Star has been at or below league average in terms of wRC+ in 6 of the last 8 seasons. Moreover, he’s coming off a season where he posted an OPS of 58 over 48 games while battling through a knee injury.

The long-time Cubs outfielder is still owed $22 million from Chicago next season, which would be the final year of a massive eight-year, $184 million deal he signed ahead of the 2016 season.

As Doug mentions in the tweet above, this is a classic Dodgers-esque move that nets the club depth and veteran brand recognition. The 33-year-old will compete with guys like Trayce Thompson and James Outman for an opening day roster spot. While Heyward has struggled with the bat in recent years, his glove usually still grades as at or above average in the outfield. And his ability to cover in centerfield plays up following the loss of Cody Bellinger who went to the Cubs on Tuesday.

At the winter meetings, Dave Roberts mentioned the team exploring the outfield market for an outfielder that can play center. Chances are high that this isn’t who he had in mind but it’s a fine low risk, medium reward signing for the Dodgers.

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Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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16 Comments

  1. Oh my God. Freidman finally did it. He signed the biggest and best big name free agent this year in Jason Heyward. LOL what a damn joke. Freidman has freaking lost it. I told you this is all he signs & this is one of his worse yet again. Freidman is tearing our Dodgers apart from the inside out & our damn owners don’t give a shit about it. This is the year of the Padres to kick our ass out of first place. Thanks Freidmen for nothing. AGAIN

  2. Ok, it’s a flyer; I get it…but I’m mystified why we even consider guys who have proven they can’t hit over putting our prospects on the 26 man roster and letting them play? Youth with a glove trumps proven Mendoza liners IMHO. Outman, Busch, Pages and Ramos can hit as well or better than guys like Heyward and Kiermaier over a full season. So could Noda by the way. Heyward’s not a center fielder; LF at this point but we’ve got Thompson and Taylor already. The ghost of Billy McKinney is at the locker room door.

  3. This guys a slug! So much so that the Cubs are paying him his full 2023 salary not to play for them! Good move Friedman!

  4. I can’t believe Jason Hayward is only going into his age 33 season. That’s nuts. It seems like he’d be 38 or 39.

    And people can get off Friedman’s back. It’s a minor league deal. I want my GM to kick the tires on things like this when it doesn’t take a spot on the 40 man or cost real money.

  5. The people who complain about this move that doesn’t involve a 40 man roster spot or real money are insufferable. Go follow another team.

    1. I don’t think it’s the move so much that fans are mad about. It’s watching other teams (especially the Padres and Giants) signing some of the players the Dodgers could have.
      Right now, I don’t see the Dodgers winning the division in 2023.

  6. Dave Roberts mentioned the team exploring the outfield market for an outfielder that can play center.he had one, they gave up too soon on Bellinger.

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