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Jason Heyward headed to free agency

We can dream.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Former Braves outfielder Jason Heyward will surprise no one and hit the free agent market this winter.

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak acknowledged Wednesday that any contract talks with Jason Heyward will likely have to wait until after the World Series.

"In terms of when we can actually engage, it's really going to be this offseason," the Cardinals general manager told KMOX.

This all goes back to what everyone thought last winter: Heyward was hitting free agency regardless of where he played 2015, and it was smart of the Braves to get something in return for the 26-year-old outfielder. That return, of course, has been a potential ace under control for three more years and a fringe top-100 pitching prospect.

Heyward is going to be a very rich man in a few months. He's hit .292/.349/.441 with the Cardinals this season while playing his usual Gold Glove defense and excelling on the base paths. With a current 4.0 WAR on FanGraphs, Heyward is now ranked 3rd among all outfielders in WAR since 2012. The only two ahead of him: Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen. Decent company.

The Braves will kick the tires, but unless a miracle happens, Heyward won't be coming back to Atlanta.

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