AP source: Cubs, Heyward agree to $184M, 8-year contract

St. Louis Cardinals' Jason Heyward (22) reacts as he scores a run on an RBI double by Tony Cruz during the sixth inning of Game 4 in baseball's National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Chicago. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

CHICAGO — Free agent outfielder Jason Heyward and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a $184 million, eight-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

The agreement with the three-time Gold Glove winner is the latest in a series of big moves by the Cubs as they try to build on a breakthrough season and bring home their first World Series title since 1908. The Cubs won 97 games and reached the NL Championship Series before getting swept by the New York Mets.

Chicago also has added pitchers John Lackey and Adam Warren along with infielder Ben Zobrist. Lackey, like Heyward, left the rival Cardinals for the Cubs and figures to be Chicago’s No. 3 starter behind NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester.

An All-Star in 2010, the 26-year-old Heyward hit .293 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs this year, helping St. Louis win the NL Central. He spent his first first five big league seasons with Atlanta.

Chicago also signed infielder Ben Zobrist to a $56 million, four-year contract and traded Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees for pitcher Adam Warren.

Heyward has a .268 career batting average and has hit more than 18 home runs just once. But the Cubs are counting on him to help strengthen a batting order that includes young sluggers Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber.

They also are counting on him to help solidify their outfield, whether they keep him in right field or move him to center. If Heyward plays right, the Cubs could try to trade Jorge Soler for a pitcher or center fielder.

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