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Jason Heyward signs with Cubs, and the rest of the outfield dominos are about to fall

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How does the Heyward contract affect the Giants?

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants didn't sign Jason Heyward, just like they didn't sign Zack Greinke, just like they didn't sign Jon Lester, just like they didn't sign Max Scherzer, just like they didn't sign Carlos Beltran, just like they didn't sign Carlos Beltran the time before that, and just like they didn't sign Carlos Beltran the time before the time before that. The last premium free agent the Giants signed was Barry Zito, which is probably why they don't sign a lot of premium free agents.

Fine. Whatever. Plan B is the new Plan A, and the Giants didn't even want Heyward anyway. The news, other that another outfield option is gone, will likely affect the Giants in a tangible way. If Heyward gets $23 million for eight years and two opt-out clauses, what does that mean for Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, or Yoenis Cespedes?

...

No, that wasn't a rhetorical question, I was looking for you to help me out, I have to publish this thing soon. Okay, fine, I'll guess. It probably doesn't mean a whole lot, unless it gives Upton the bright idea that he should get an opt-out provision in his deal, too. (Which he should.)

If Heyward is worth $184 million, and we know that Upton and Cespedes are worth less, the market is taking shape. It's kind of a rhombus. And if we know that Dexter Fowler and Denard Span are worth much less than Upton and Cespedes, everyone's suddenly figured out what everyone else is worth. Considering that some folks were projecting Heyward to get $200 million or more, his deal is probably good news for the Giants.

Where it's bad news: The Cardinals are now looking for an outfield free agent, and they have money to spend. They've been shut out of David Price and Heyward, and now they're all grumbly. They're going to drive the price of Gordon up, though that's if they don't drive the price of Upton up first. Or maybe they'll be jerks and poison Dexter Fowler's asking price, making the Giants pay some sort of ludicrous amount. Considering that Cardinals outfielders respawn like Marios, maybe they'll focus on the rotation instead. I doubt it, though, especially considering Matt Holliday's age.

So the Giants are another option down, which means we have the following cliffhangers before the season finale:

  • Justin Upton?
  • What about Yoenis Cespedes?
  • Are they really interested in Alex Gordon?
  • Hey, is that Carlos Gonzalez trade idea legit?
  • What about the pitching?
  • Why are the Giants so down on Kenta Maeda?
  • What's up with Wei-Yin Chen?
  • Yovani Gallardo. That's it, that's the whole cliffhanger.
  • Doug Fister? I hardly even know Doug! Doug Fister. Wait ...
  • Do something, dammit.
  • Seriously, just sign Ian Kennedy so we can relax through nice, calm, blackened rage.

They're not in any hurry to figure it out, apparently.

They're going to wake up in February and bring Juan Pierre out of retirement, I just know it. But I suppose they've earned the benefit of the doubt. If not in free agency, then in even years in general. If the Giants signed Jason Bay and Chone Figgins for a bunch of scratch before the 2010 season, we would have been absolutely giddy.

That would have ended poorly. Hopefully, the Jason Heyward chain reaction will have a much happier potential ending.