Long-time right fielder Jason Heyward is back for another one.
The 14-year veteran has reportedly re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year $9 million deal. Heyward will enter the season at 34 years old and will have the chance to add to his stellar career.
J-Hey Is The Consummate Pro
Prior to his ongoing stint in Los Angeles, Heyward spent seven seasons with the Braves, Cardinals and Cubs. With the Cubs, Heyward secured an eight-year $184 million deal that, despite winning the World Series, he was unable to sustain. In the seven seasons prior to joining the Dodgers, Heyward struggled and was only able to notch a .245 batting average with just 62 home runs.
Early in his career, with the Braves and then the Cardinals, Heyward was a budding star, batting nearly .300 in his single season in St. Louis, and winning Wilson Defensive Player of the Year with Atlanta. He was even anointed as baseball’s next big star by the legendary Hank Aaron.
In his last two seasons with Chicago, Heyward plummeted, batted .214 and .204, respectively — leading the World Series hero to be released a season early with $22 million remaining on the books.
Heyward Makes His Comeback
After contemplating retirement, he signed with the LA Dodgers last season. At that point, he was only able to notch a minor-league deal, having to work his way up if he wanted to get back to the majors. After fixing his swing prior to 2023 Spring Training, Heyward did enough to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster and it paid dividends.
In a revived 2023 season, J-Hey put up a five-year high in batting average with .269 as well as an .813 OPS — his highest full-season mark since 2014. These numbers allowed him to cash the aforementioned $9 million check with Dave Roberts’ perennial World Series contenders.
With a revamped offensive approach and his past Gold Glove blessings, Heyward has the potential to continue to be a valuable veteran utility player for the Dodgers in the 2024 season.