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The Los Angeles Dodgers and veteran outfielder Jason Heyward agreed to a one-year, $9 million deal Monday, according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.
Heyward is coming off a productive year with L.A. He hit 15 home runs and slugged .473, his second-best output in that category, in 124 games. He was tied for sixth among Dodgers position players with 2.2 WAR, per FanGraphs.
The 34-year-old complemented his production at the plate with the defense on which he has built his reputation. According to Baseball Savant, he ranked in the 81st percentile in fielding run value and the 91st percentile in range.
Heyward offered manager Dave Roberts some positional flexibility. Right field (90 games) was his primary position, but he occupied center (23 games) and left (seven games) for stretches, per Baseball Reference.
In an interview with SportsNet LA, first baseman Freddie Freeman lobbied for the Dodgers to re-sign Heyward, who was also his teammate on the Atlanta Braves.
SportsNet LA @SportsNetLA
“Just trying to be the best player I can be for the Dodgers, and my teammates, and the organization.” Freddie Freeman takes pride in trying to be the best each and every day. pic.twitter.com/IDt1EmlU7t
ESPN’s Alden González laid out the value the five-time Gold Glove winner will continue to bring:
Alden González @Alden_Gonzalez
The Dodgers loved what Jason Heyward meant for their young players this season. His LH bat also paves the way for Mookie Betts to play more second base, which is the plan again in 2024. Bringing Heyward back, which @kileymcd said is close to happening, makes lots of sense.
The question remains how much more Los Angeles plans to spend to avoid a third straight exit in the NLDS.
The Dodgers were the favorites to sign Shohei Ohtani in a poll of 14 MLB executives by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. They’ve also been linked with Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is widely considered to be the top pitcher on the board.
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