It’s not Jason Heyward’s fault that the Chicago Cubs paid too much

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On April 5, 2010, baseball number one and McDonough, Georgia’s own 21-year-old Jason Heyward, made their first appearance in the batter’s box for left-handers at Turner Field against Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs. I was on the very last row of the 400 section when I saw a 2-0 fastball missile from Heywards racket and into the Atlanta Bullpen for a triple home run to tie the game. From that moment on, expectations rose to unattainable heights and the weight of living up to the hype was heavy on Heyward’s shoulders.

The league always waited, expecting his bat to take the turn and make him a top hitter in the league. His glove and defense have always been elite; we were all just waiting for his insult to follow suit. After a disappointing season in 2014, the Braves decided it would be best to trade Heyward for something in exchange rather than losing him for free when he became a free agent after 2015, much like the Cubs ultimately settled for Javier Baez and Anthony decided to have Rizzo and Kris Bryant. They made a deal with the Cardinals and in 2015 it hit a career high of 0.293 and was key to the Cardinals winning in a very competitive NL Central. In the NLDS that year against the Cubs, he hit .357, but St. Louis stayed behind with the Cubs. Then he became a free agent.

After his alleged breakout season, he was the most sought-after outfielder to hit and many teams were keen to pay big bucks. In the end, he settled on Chicago and signed an eight-year deal with the Cubs worth $ 184 million, which wasn’t the highest offer on the table.

Jason Heyward begins his career with the Chicago Cubs with a World Series ring

In 2016, Heyward fought at the record, beating .230, which was the lowest average of his career at the time. However, his defense was as advertised and he was immediately respected as the clubhouse leader. He is also rumored to have been the leading force in convening a player’s only meeting during the infamous rain delay during the seventh game of the World Series and eventually helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.

Since then, he’s continued to be the average man with the mid-200 mark on the plate and an outstanding defensive player on the outfield. He’s always been a leader and great to have in the locker room. But nobody cares much about things outside of the field because the price to bring it here was so high and the expectations so high.

The reality of the situation is that the third field expectations he has seen in the big leagues have always been out of reach for Heyward until now, and I have no doubt that the mental fear of not living up to the hype goes a long way has to do with a lack of offensive performance. But I also think the Cubs absolutely knew they were paying too much to get the biggest name out there at the time. The big uproar put the fans in their seats, telling the baseball world that the cubs were here and ready to win.

Chicago Cubs: Jason Heyward isn’t to blame for his contract – period

Despite all the adversities, Heyward answered the call and created unforgettable moments with his bat and glove. He’s got multiple walk-off home runs, clutch hits, and notable catches to save games. Unfortunately, the focus is still on its shortcomings in other areas.

The Cubs have entered an off-season when the free agency market will be loud and lucrative for some big star players. The conversations the fans are having are wondering where the spending will go, but Heyward is also eating $ 22 million each over the next two years. It’s not exactly a moving contract for a career .259 hitter.

In the end, his agent got him the deal and Theo Epstein agreed to pay him. Heyward could have gone to a few other places for more money, and he decided to come to Chicago. He took root in the community and became a Chicago guy. He lives here all year round and calls it home. Offensively, the numbers don’t match the contract. But defensively, his leadership and selflessness in the community should also be taken into account. The boys aren’t here without Heyward’s help.

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