Dodgers sign OF Heyward to a minor league deal
MLB 

    ESPN baseball reporter. Covered the L.A. Rams for ESPN from 2016 to 2018 and the L.A. Angels for MLB.com from 2012 to 2016.

Jason Heyward, the former All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner who has struggled offensively for most of the last six years, has signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team announced Thursday. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training.

Heyward, still only 33, was a dynamic defender, a solid baserunner and a dangerous — albeit inconsistent — power hitter in his first six seasons, batting .268/.353/.431 with 276 extra-base hits with the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs, elevating into a legitimate contender, signed him to an eight-year, $184 million contract in December 2015 but watched him produce an adjusted OPS that was 14% below the league average from 2016 to 2022.

In Chicago, Heyward was considered a willing mentor and a great teammate — he’ll always be known for his speech during the rain delay in the late stages of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series — but was no longer deemed worthy of a roster spot. In his final season, he hit only .204/.278/.277, played in only 48 games and managed only one home run.

The Dodgers, however, have a history of tapping into upside and are littered with holes throughout their roster, most notably in the left side of their infield and in center field.

The Dodgers previously non-tendered Cody Bellinger, then watched him sign a one-year, $17.5 million contract with the Cubs.

If Heyward, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound left-handed hitter, can somehow be productive, he would provide some depth alongside the right-handed-hitting Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson.

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