The Ten Best Contracts of the 2016 Offseason: Player Perspective

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Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs
Eight Years, $184 million
Ability to opt-out after the 2018 and 2019 seasons

Heyward landed the richest position-player contract of the 2016 offseason, and it comes with a ton of flexibility. There was a great deal of skepticism surrounding Heyward’s skillset and the type of player he actually is. He has not come close to matching his early-career power numbers with the Atlanta Braves, but is being paid like a middle-of-the-order bat. Moving to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field should allow Heyward to begin tapping into all of the power that many suspect is located somewhere within his 6’5″ frame.

If Heyward moves into the Chicago lineup and begins cranking out 25-homer seasons, he will likely use that opt-out. He has the ability to re-enter the free-agent market still under the age of 30. With a few good seasons in Chicago, Heyward can make himself a $27-30 million type of player and grab a contract that stretches past his age-35 season. If Heyward never develops his power stroke beyond the 15-homer range, he is still guaranteed to make over $180 million with no team-option years. Heyward clearly wanted to land in Chicago, and the contract he signed is very player-friendly.

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