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Cubs free agent target: Jason Heyward

Wait, hear me out.

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

We’re heading into a holiday weekend so I thought I’d take a break from the big name free agents and name someone here who might, I think, actually be able to be a useful bench player for the Cubs. Maybe you think this is silly season, but I do think it’s at least worth considering.

Jason Heyward’s seven-year tenure with the Cubs was not what any of us hoped for after he signed an eight-year, $184 million contract before the 2016 season. He did win two Gold Gloves with the Cubs, but his best bWAR season was 2.4, well below the 6 or so bWAR he averaged before he signed in Chicago. Oh, and one clubhouse speech that was pretty important.

Anyway, to recap: The Cubs released Heyward with one year left on his contract and the Dodgers signed him and paid him the minimum salary. He had a very good year as a fourth outfielder in Los Angeles, batting .269/.340/.473 (90-for-334) with 15 home runs in 124 games. All of that was worth 1.9 bWAR.

The Cubs, you’re going to tell me, already have a player very much like this in Mike Tauchman, who hit .252/.363/.377 (85-for-337) with eight home runs in 108 games. Oh, and one spectacular catch that was pretty important [VIDEO].

MLB Trade Rumors projects Tauchman to get $2 million in arbitration for 2024. I would guess the Cubs could sign Heyward for about that much; he’s already made his generational money. Why would Heyward be interested? His wife’s family is from the Chicago area, when he left he indicated he’d be making a home in Chicago and earlier this year he opened the Jason Heyward Baseball Academy in Chicago, a community center that offers “education, wellness and sports opportunities,” according to the linked article.

Heyward is one year older than Tauchman. Would it be worth a reunion with Heyward at that price? Or, would you rather hang on to Tauchman for that spot, hoping he could replicate his nice 2.4 bWAR 2023 season? Tauchman, of course, also has Chicago connections, having grown up in Palatine (Fremd High School) and played college ball at Bradley.

Maybe this is just a silly little thing to talk about entering the holiday weekend. Or maybe there’s something here. Wouldn’t it be fun for the Cubs to win a second World Series ring with Jason Heyward?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This series will resume — with many more important players — on Monday. Happy Thanksgiving!


In 2024, the Cubs should have as their fourth outfielder...

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Jason Heyward for $2 million
    (221 votes)
  • 49%
    Mike Tauchman for $2 million
    (883 votes)
  • 8%
    (161 votes)
  • 27%
    (486 votes)
  • 2%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (47 votes)
1798 votes total Vote Now