St. Louis Cardinals Extend Qualifying Offer To Outfielder Jason Heyward

The St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have extended a one-year, $15.8 million offer to Jason Heyward.

Heyward, 26, has shown good defense and smart running on the base path, but he has not full come around as a player yet. 

The outfielder will probably decline the offer and hit free agency this winter. The competition will be tough, but the Cardinals will do their best to re-sign him. Heyward will look for a deal that gives him over $100 million. If he declines the offer and signs with a different team, the Cardinals will get a compensation first-round draft pick. 

The 14th pick in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves came to St. Louis last winter. Over one season with the Cardinals, Heyward owned a career high batting average, .293, with 13 home runs and 60 RBI over 154 games. Heyward is also a 2015 National League Gold Glove finalist. 

During the 2015 offseason, Heyward played in four games and hit .357/.438/.643 with one home run and a pair of RBI for the Cardinals. The team lost to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series.

"The J-Hey Kid" hit .277/.393/.456 in his 2010 rookie campaign with 18 homers and 72 RBI over just 142 games. He received All-Star honors and finished second to catcher Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants in the National League Rookie of the Year race. Posey, who was not an All-Star that season, hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI. 

He should hit a little just under the .280 mark in 2016 because Heyward will look to increase his power. Right now, all 30 teams see the upside in the outfielder, which is why the competition for him will be intense. 

Heyward has until November 13 to either accept or decline the one-year offer from the Cardinals.