(CBS) Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer on Thursday morning emphatically shut down trade rumors surrounding outfielder Jason Heyward.
“Those are just the kind of made-up rumors that happen this time of year,” Hoyer said on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score. “This is not against you for asking me, because it’s news, but it’s just the nature of our job today, that someone throws an idea out on a blog or something like that and all of a sudden people get asked about it and it’s news. There’s no truth to that rumor whatsoever. I don’t know where that stuff comes from.”
Earlier this week, speculation swirled that the Giants were interested in Heyward if it meant getting off of a couple of their burdensome contracts as well. Heyward has six years and about $134 million left on the original eight-year, $184-million deal he signed with the Cubs in December 2015, per Baseball-Reference.com. He has an opt-out clause after the 2018 season, though it’s highly unlikely he would exercise that.
Heyward hasn’t lived up to his hefty contract because of poor hitting in each of his first two seasons in Chicago. That included a 2017 season in which he hit .259 with 11 homers, 59 RBIs and a .715 OPS in 126 games.
Heyward’s offensive struggles have also come amid a time in which the Cubs have a log jam of outfielders, with Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Ben Zobrist, Ian Happ and Jon Jay also in the mix this past season. The Cubs would like to give the likes of Almora and Happ, young part-time players in 2017, more at-bats.
For now, Heyward remains locked into a regular outfield spot and a part of the Cubs’ future plans.
“Jason, I’m really happy for him,” Hoyer said. “He won his second Gold Glove with us. I think he’s going to continue to work hard over the winter, and I think he’s trying to regain sort of where he was offensively a few years ago. But listen, he’s been a great teammate, a great defender. He’s helped us win in a lot of ways. Those rumors, I don’t have any idea where that came from.”