Dodgers reportedly sign Jason Heyward to 1-year, $9 million deal

The Dodgers have seemingly made their first notable signing of the offseason (no shots at Ricky Vanasco) as ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel reported they’ve agreed to a one-year deal with Jason Heyward.

The deal is worth $9 million and, according to Jack Harris of the LA Times, includes no incentives or options. It’s still pending a physical.


Heyward had been seen as a bit of a disappointment towards the end of his Cubs tenure. He ended his Chicago career with a .627 OPS in 2021 and .556 OPS in 2022 before being released. The Dodgers signed him to a cheap minor-league deal last season that paid off tremendously. He was used almost exclusively against right-handed pitching and posted a .276/.347/.471 triple slash in 349 plate appearances against righties. He only made 28 plate appearances against lefties and only had five hits against them, but four of them went for extra bases (two doubles and two homers). His 17 percent strikeout rate was his best since 2018, and his 121 wRC+ was his third-best mark in his career. While his average exit velocity (87.7 MPH) was roughly in line with his career mark, he had an 8.1 percent barrel percentage, up from his previous career high of 5.7 percent.

Additionally, Heyward played great defense in right, with +6 OAA in right (the second-highest in baseball). His emergence also allowed the Dodgers to play Mookie Betts at second against righties after Miguel Vargas struggled to begin the season. Theoretically, Heyward will allow Betts to play in the infield again this season. Betts posted a .996 OPS as a second baseman, which was 70 points higher than the second-highest second baseman OPS last year (Jose Altuve). There’s no way to really quantify off-field impact, but Heyward has always been known as a leader and was seen as a vital part of the clubhouse last season.


Overall, this signing was a bit of a no-brainer. The Dodgers were known to be pursuing a corner outfielder and Heyward was one of the better ones available. It’s hard to ever hate a one-year deal, especially for the Dodgers, and $9 million is a drop in the bucket if he can come close to the production he provided last season. This shouldn’t impact any of their other potential free agent signings, but it does fill up the 40-man roster, so there should be quite a bit of roster movement in the coming weeks.

Good job, Fraudman.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.