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Heyward wants to make history with Cubs after deal

Heyward wants to make history with Cubs after deal

CHICAGO (AP) — Jason Heyward knows Theo Epstein ended a long championship drought in Boston and understands how epic it would be to bring a title to Chicago's North Side.

'It'd be a beautiful thing to win a World Series,' Heyward said Tuesday after finalizing a $184 million, eight-year contract with the Cubs, the largest deal in team history. 'To do it in this city, it's a no-brainer that it would be making history. You see what Theo's done with the Red Sox in 2004 and sort of reverse the curse, kind of set the country upside down.'

After adding pitchers John Lackey and Adam Warren along with infielder Ben Zobrist, the Cubs introduced Heyward at Spiaggia Restaurant, a favorite of President Barack Obama and the same place where they held a news conference for Jon Lester exactly one year earlier after signing the pitcher to a $155 million deal. Chicago still seeks its first Series title since 1908.

'We saw it as a real unique opportunity,' said Epstein, who left Boston in October 2011 to become the Cubs' president of baseball operations. 'We feel like Jason is a real impact player because of how talented he is in all the different phases of the game.'

Heyward has the right to opt out of the deal after three seasons and become a free agent again at age 29, having earned $78 million under the deal with the Cubs. He also has a conditional opt out after the 2019 season, if he has 550 plate appearances that year.

He receives a $20 million signing bonus, payable in four $5 million installments each April 1 from 2024-27. He gets salaries of $15 million in 2016, $21.5 million in each of the next two years, $20 million in 2019, $21 million apiece in 2020 and 2021 and $22 million in each of the final two seasons. Heyward has a full notrade provision through 2018, then during 2019 and 2020 has 12 teams he cannot be dealt to without his consent. If he remains with the Cubs, after the 2020 season he would have the right to block any trade because of he would be a 10-year veteran who has spent five seasons with his current team.

Because the signing bonus is paid after the expiration of the contract, Major League Baseball evaluated the deal as having a present-day value of $177,633,616.

“I felt like if I were to look up in three years and see a completely different team, that would kind of be different for me,” Heyward said

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