Appearing on Hot Stove LIVE and with the media at Winter Warm-Up, newly acquired right fielder Jason Heyward said he was open to a contract extension with the St. Louis Cardinals.
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Heyward made his first public appearance with the Cardinals on Friday night. It was not until Saturday in which Heyward met with the local media for the first time. Naturally, Heyward was asked about whether or not he would be open to contract talks with the Cardinals. The outfielder is a free agent at the end of the season.
“For me, I hope I love it so much I won’t have to leave,” Heyward said according to MLB.com. “I couldn’t tell you how any of that is going to go. Right now, I just know I’m looking forward to getting settled in with my teammates, fitting in.
“The goal for me, and I feel like everyone involved, is to be playing in October for a World Series. If all that takes care of itself, then I feel like a lot of good things will come from it, not any negatives.”
The sentiment from general manager John Mozeliak is that the Cardinals may take the route that they used with Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, and Matt Holliday in giving them some time before talking a contract extension.
“We want him to understand what this is all about and see if he really likes this experience, because the next commitment he makes is going to be long term,” Mozeliak said according to MLB.com. “I think the best strategy is to respect his space a little in the sense of giving him time to see what this city’s all about and why we all feel it’s special. Once we do that, we absolutely would love to pursue something.”
The Cardinals definitely have an interest if Mozeliak’s comments during Winter Warm-Up were any indication. The GM told the crowd that Magneuris Sierra is the center fielder of the future with Heyward in right field and either Randal Grichuk or Stephen Piscotty in left field.
Heyward may very well decide this season that he would like to join a Cardinals core group of players that include third baseman Matt Carpenter and possible second baseman Kolten Wong. Holliday, who turned 35 on Thursday, has a team option for the 2017 season while catcher Yadier Molina has a team option for the 2018 season.