The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed five-time Gold Glover Jason Heyward to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training, the team announced Thursday, per ESPN's Alden Gonzalez.
Heyward began his career with the Atlanta Braves in 2010, finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting and earning his only All-Star Game selection. In his five seasons with the club, he slashed .262/.351/.429 with 84 home runs and 292 RBI in 681 games, in addition to winning two Gold Gloves.
The Braves traded Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 2015 campaign. In his lone season with the franchise, he hit .293/.359/.439 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI in 154 games. He also earned another Gold Glove award.
He then agreed to an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Chicago Cubs before the 2016 campaign. He earned two Gold Gloves with the Cubs and helped the team capture the 2016 World Series title, but he never lived up to the contract offensively. He was released in November.
Heyward's performance at the plate over the last two seasons has been particularly poor. In 2021, he slashed .214/.280/.347 with eight home runs and 30 RBI in 104 games. He appeared in just 48 games for the Cubbies in 2022, hitting .204/.278/.277 with one home run and 10 RBI.
In Los Angeles, it's possible the 33-year-old will find himself back on a major league roster in 2023, especially if he puts together a strong performance in spring training.
The Dodgers saw outfielder Cody Bellinger sign a one-year deal with the Cubs this winter after they non-tendered him, and they could use some depth in both left and center field alongside Trayce Thompson and Chris Taylor.