D.J. Short

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Report: Cubs now focused on free agent outfielder Jason Heyward

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Many expected the Cubs to spend big this winter to add a free agent starting pitcher like David Price or Jordan Zimmermann. After both pitchers ended up elsewhere on lucrative contracts, the Cubs signed John Lackey to a two-year, $32 million contract. The club still has some cash to spend as a result and Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times hears that they are “focusing” on free agent outfielder Jason Heyward.

Like most of the free agent outfielders, the market for Heyward has been pretty quiet thus far, but he’s widely-expected to receive the richest contract among position players this winter. He’s seeking at least eight years and some estimates have him around $200 million.

Signing Heyward would be a blow to the division rival Cardinals, but it would also likely increase the chances of a trade involving Jorge Soler. We should have some more clarity on the situation by the end of this week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.

Heyward, 26, batted .293/.359/.439 with 13 home runs, 60 RBI, and 23 stolen bases over 154 games this past season while playing Gold Glove defense in right field.