Resurgent Heyward returns to Dodgers on 1-year deal

December 6th, 2023

A year ago, and the Dodgers came to terms on a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training. For Heyward, it was a chance to prove that he could still play at a high level. For the Dodgers, it was a no-brainer low-risk, high-reward move.

That pact turned out to be incredibly successful for both sides. Heyward had a resurgent season at the plate and quickly turned into one of the leaders inside the clubhouse. It turned out to be the perfect match.

So much, in fact, that Heyward and the Dodgers will run it back in 2024, as the two sides agreed to keep the veteran outfielder in Los Angeles on a one-year, $9 million deal on Wednesday.

After a disappointing end to his time with the Cubs, Heyward was unsure if he would get another chance in the Majors. Once he signed with the Dodgers, Heyward traveled to Los Angeles and worked out at Dodger Stadium with in hopes of reviving his career in ‘23.

With some drastic swing changes, Heyward was able to do just that, hitting 15 homers and posting an .813 OPS, his best in a full 162-game season since ‘12 with the Braves.

Aside from his production on the field, Heyward also helped fill the void in the clubhouse. Coming into the season the Dodgers were looking for some veteran leadership with Justin Turner no longer with the team. Heyward quickly became a solid voice for young players, especially rookie outfielder James Outman.

Heyward was going to have options to play for a number of teams this winter, but the familiarity with the hitting coaches and Freeman played a key role in his decision to return to Los Angeles. For the Dodgers, bringing Heyward back helps fill one of the voids in the outfield.

The Dodgers came into the offseason needing to address the corner outfields. Heyward helps solidify right field. , who has been vocal about his preference of playing more infield moving forward, will now be the everyday second baseman.