The hunt for Heyward is on

Michael Hebb, Sports Editor

This MLB offseason has featured many big free agent signings and trades, but the top ranked free agent still remains on the market: Jason Heyward.

Heyward’s stock increased because of his play with the St. Louis Cardinals last season. His defensive proficiency is one of his best assets as a center fielder, and his ability to get on base as a hitter can help any team offensively. Last season, Heyward had a .293 batting average, which was a large improvement from his career batting average of .268.

The teams interested in Heyward are the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels. The Cardinals are also very interested in resigning Heyward as they have already lost Jon Jay, another outfielder.

The Chicago Cubs are looking for an everyday center fielder in place of Dexter Fowler. Fowler had a career season, but they believe Heyward has much more upside as a fielder and hitter. The Cubs signed Ben Zobrist to a fairly large deal, but offset that by trading Starlin Castro to the Yankees.

The Nationals already have an MVP outfielder in Bryce Harper, but they have showed a lot of interest in Heyward. Also, they are pursuing elite closer Aroldis Chapman, who was supposed to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers but was accused of domestic violence. If the Nationals can get both players, they would most likely become front-runners for the World Series in some analysts’ eyes.

If Heyward goes to any of the above teams, they will be getting one of the most premier outfielders in the game. His premier defensive ability and consistent offense will surely help a contending team take the next step to the World Series.

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