(670 The Score) Cubs manager David Ross goes way back with outfielder Jason Heyward, as Ross was on the Braves when Heyward made his MLB debut with Atlanta in 2010. They were “locker mates,” as Ross put it.
Heyward then joined the Cubs ahead of the 2016 season, which was Ross’ final MLB campaign and ended with the club breaking its 108-year championship drought. It’s with that as context that Ross reflected on what Heyward meant to him and the Cubs after the team announced Monday that it would part ways with the struggling Heyward before the 2023 season. The Cubs will owe $22 million to Heyward in 2023, which represents the final season of the eight-year, $184-million contract he signed with Chicago in December 2015.
“On a daily basis, what the Cubs saw is an impactful player,” Ross said on the Bernstein & Holmes Show on Tuesday. “You talk about the world championship team, like he was a big part of that. He brings a lot to the table on a daily basis that helps us win. He’s a championship-caliber player and a brother for life in that respect. Obviously, you can look at the stats and you can look his career here, but the way he impacted us on a daily basis is kind of immeasurable, just who he is, how he takes care of everybody, how he checks in, his consistent attitude, his work ethic. He’s just a quality, quality human being and a really good baseball player, fundamentally sound in a lot of aspects of his game.”
Heyward, 32, was hitting .204 with one homer, 10 RBIs and a .556 OPS in 48 games this season. It concluded a disappointing Cubs tenure for him, as Heyward struggled at the plate for nearly his entire time in Chicago, where he hit .245 with a .700 OPS and 85 OPS+ (league average is 100) across seven seasons.