St. Louis gave up a lot to get one season of Jason Heyward, sending Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins to Atlanta for the impending free agent outfielder and reliever Jordan Walden.
In the past the Cardinals have had success acquiring a short-term player and signing him to a long-term contract extension before he hits the open market, but it doesn’t sound like that will be happening with Heyward.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch spoke to Heyward and reports that “there have not been substantive talks about an extension” and “there’s been no pressure from either side to hasten a deal.”
Heyward has had a good but not great season, starting slow and playing well recently on the way to hitting .286 with nine homers, 18 steals, and a .772 OPS to go with his always outstanding defense in right field. At age 26 he’s in line for a big payday and the Cardinals will receive draft pick compensation if he turns down a qualifying offer to sign elsewhere.
Heyward has talked repeatedly about how much he likes playing in St. Louis and certainly seems very interested in remaining there beyond this season, but it’s possible that both sides want to see what his market looks like as a free agent before making a commitment.