The Chicago Cubs have officially released OF Jason Heyward, per Bob Nightengale. But that doesn’t mean they are done paying him. Heyward will still be owed $22 million dollars from Chicago next season. It was already known that the Cubs and Heyward were parting ways, but this announcement makes everything official.

Heyward showed prowess with the Atlanta Braves early in his career. In 2012, he clubbed a career high 27 home runs to go along with an .814 OPS and 21 stolen bases for good measure. But Jason Heyward’s calling card was always his defense. The Gold Glove Caliber outfielder never lost his touch defensively, but his bat headed south after landing in Chicago with the Cubs in 2016.

Heyward still offered productivity and leadership for Chicago. And he helped them break their World Series drought in 2016.

Jason Heyward reportedly still has aspirations of playing in 2023. At just 33-years old, one would imagine he still has something left in the tank. At the very least, Heyward could be a defensive-based 4th outfielder. He will likely get signed to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training for a chance to make the big league ball club.

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For the Cubs, the decision to move on from Heyward despite still owing him money is understandable. They are in the midst of a rebuild and are looking to implement youthful talent on the MLB roster. Heyward’s presence would block a young player from receiving an opportunity.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Jason Heyward.