(Reuters) - The Chicago Cubs filled a large gap in center field by agreeing to terms with prized free agent Jason Heyward, according to multiple reports on Friday.
Heyward, a three-time Gold Glove winner who was considered the top outfielder on the free agent market, agreed to a multi-year deal worth $184 million, according to the reports.
After spending his first five Major League Baseball seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Heyward helped power the St. Louis Cardinals to the best record in baseball in 2015 as he batted .293 with 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in.
The 26-year-old will be considered a key piece in the lineup of a long-suffering Cubs team that, in 2015, came four wins shy of their first World Series berth in 70 years.
He replaces free agent Dexter Fowler, who declined the Cubs’ qualifying offer last month, and is the second free agent within the last week to move from the Cardinals to the rival Cubs.
Veteran starting handed pitcher John Lackey, who had been with the Cardinals since the mid-2014, signed a two-year deal with the Cubs.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes