Heyward signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in December after two down, injury-plagued years with the Cubs. Chicago released Heyward in November, and is responsible for nearly all of his $22-million salary in 2023, save for the major league minimum of $720,000 paid by the Dodgers.
The 33-year-old Heyward played in 19 spring training games, starting 17. Thirteen of those games were in center field and six in right field, hitting .200/.273/.360 with two home runs and two doubles.
Heyward joins an outfield mix that includes Mookie Betts in right, David Peralta in left, rookie James Outman in center getting the bulk of playing time, plus Trayce Thompson, and Chris Taylor likely seeing some left field time as part of a utility role.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Gavin Lux was placed on the 60-day injured list.
Lux tore his ACL and sprained his LCL in his right knee running the bases on February 27, and had surgery on March 7 in Los Angeles. The shortstop is expected to miss the entire season.
The Dodgers drafted Lux as a shortstop, and that’s where he played the bulk of his minor league games. But during his first three seasons in the majors, Lux played mostly second base, with franchise fixtures Corey Seager and then Trea Turner at shortstop.
With Seager and Turner each signing $300-million-plus free-agent contracts in the last two offseasons, this year, Lux was back at shortstop, his original position. Lux even bulked up over the offseason, gaining 15 pounds over the winter, per Juan Toribio at MLB.com, trying to build off his solid 2022 campaign.
“I think every baseball player’s dream is to play shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers,” Lux told reporters at Camelback Ranch on February 28. “That’s one of the hardest parts.”