Heyward brings several impressive tools to the table. Combined with his youth, he’s the best positional player in this year’s free agent class.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 10 years/220 million.
It must be nice to his free agency at just 26 years of age. Jason Heyward could command a ten year deal with an AAV over $20 million. His blend of speed, defense, and base running has made him over a 6.0 WAR player three times in his young career already. He profiles best as a corner outfielder, but has showed he can competently handle center field also. Once rated as the game’s best prospect, Heyward is sure to cash in this winter.
Could Heyward get less than ten years? Considering the incredibly lengthy commitment ten years comes with, he could. If he were to accept, say, a 5 year pact, he could hit the free agent wire again in just his age 31 season. However, we have seen older players get ten year deals (we’re talking about you, Robinson Cano) so something long term seems likely.
As for the Angels, they have a glaring need for a left handed bat. Mike Trout and Albert Poujols posses the two best bats in the Angel lineup, and Heyward’s left handedness could give them more versatility, especially with the solid Kole Calhoun chipping in, as well. An outfield of Heyward, Trout, and Calhoun quickly becomes one of the best in the AL, offering speed, defense, and power.
The Angels have shown no fear of opening the checkbook before, and owner Arte Moreno could be flexing his financial muscles once again.