Report: Cubs now focused on free agent outfielder Jason Heyward

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

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.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.