From the Wire … Cubs Agree to Terms on One-Year Deal with Ian Stewart

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Ian Stewart for $2 million that includes a $500,000 incentive package. The Cubs non-tendered Stewart prior to last Friday’s deadline. If Stewart reaches all of his incentives, he will receive $2.5 million, the same amount he would have likely received if the Cubs did not non-tender him. Stewart was paid $2.3755 million last season.

Stewart is reportedly healthy and recovered from the wrist surgery that cut short his first season with the Cubs.

Updated 4:21pm CSTAccording to the Tribune, Stewart signed a non-guaranteed deal and if he does not make the team out of Spring Training, the Cubs are off the hook for his contract.

The Cubs will have to make a roster move soon to open up a spot to add Kyuji Fujikawa, Nate Schierholtz and Ian Stewart. With the addition of Hector Rendon, the Cubs’ 40-man roster officially stands at 38 players.

Ian Stewart managed just a .201/.292/.335/.627 line in 55 games (202 plate appearances) last season with five doubles, two triples and five home runs.

Ian Stewart’s Page on Baseball-Reference

The Cubs have not confirmed the signing but it appears Ian Stewart is back in the fold which will push Luis Valbuena to a back-up infielder’s role.

Updated 4:06pm CSTIan Stewart has confirmed he has re-signed with the Cubs on his Twitter account

Updated 4:10pm CSTJed Hoyer confirmed the signing to Jesse Rogers of ESPN 1000.

Updated 4:25pm CSTIan Stewart will go into Spring Training as the Cubs’ starting third baseman according to the Sun-Times. The Cubs are still looking for a right-handed hitting back-up for third base.

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  • MikeT_2008

    With the options left out there this isn’t too bad of a deal. Really if he is healthy then he should improve on last year, though that’s not really saying all that much, but who knows maybe they’ll catch lightning in a bottle.

    • Aaron

      “lightning in a bottle” is what they hoped to catch last year, and it bombed. I guess they love punishing themselves more, trying to justify that awful trade.

      I would’ve rather had McGehee, who did his best under the tutelage of Sveum, which would’ve given the Cubs a nice platoon, as Valbuena can’t hit lefties very well.

      • MikeT_2008

        I totally understand what you’re saying, I probably drink too much of the Kool Aid and I’m thinking if healthy he can produce, though that doesn’t seem very likely given his history. At least it’s a non-guaranteed contract so if he isn’t healthy in Spring then he can be cut loose.

      • John_CC

        ehh…McGehee is a bum. Not saying Stewart is great, but Casey really sucks.

  • cubs1967

    just pathetic. this organization is pathetic. 45 yrs old and none of this will make any of the losing on purpose justifiable even if the team is good in 2016 and that is a big IF counting on suepects/prospects to pan out.
    why not sign kevin orie or mick kelleher or steve ontiversos.
    ian stewart…………what a joke.

    • John

      Always the optimistic one aren’t you! …. I suspect that when the Cubs finally do win a World Series you’ll probably still be complaining about how long it took them to do so rather than enjoying the win itself! … Anyway Cubs1967, try to have a very Merry Christmas even despite the Steward signing. :)

    • Tony_Hall

      The Cubs could sign Mike Schmidt and you would still complain.

    • WidespreadHisPanic

      On the real man, wrist injuries are not easy to come back from anytime – especially in baseball. The Cubs are off the hook if Stewart doesn’t break with the team after camp. He’s still got a good glove and that counts for a lot especially if this team isn’t going to produce many runs.

  • tonydann1984

    I wouldn’t mind Ian playing some secondbase if we can sign someone better than Ian. That shouldn’t be to hard to do nor cost to much. Someone that can play 1st and 3rd.

  • paulcatanese

    If I’m not mistaken, and I may be, didn’t the read from the front office indicate that the Doctors didn’t find anything wrong with Stewart when they did the surgery? Seems I read that somewhere on a site.

    • brent carmona

      I’m a little confused as well Paul. It was said somewhere, might have been Aaron, that the wrist was used as a excuse by stewart to explain his poor performance in the big leagues the past couple of years. And I think there was a report that they found calcium deposits (something minor that surgery wasnt required, I need to look it up again not too sure). Add in Stewart not rehabbing with the team this past season, I can see why it took the cubs this long to sign him. Front office hates guys with no makeup/want/work ethics.

      • paulcatanese

        Thank you, I thought I was going mad. (short trip anyway)

      • Tony_Hall

        I actually think the timing had more to do with opening up a roster spot before the Rule V, exhausting other options in FA, then bringing him back in the manner they have done. I am hoping he won’t have to be added to the 40 man until they set the 25 man roster before the season.

    • JimBo_C

      He had a small bone removed from his wrist.

  • Ray Ray

    So how many are excited with this starting 8? Lf Soriano or if traded a downgrade fill in CF DeJesus RF Schierholz 3B Stewart SS Castro 2B Barney 1B Rizzo C Castillo. No speed No power No Runs. Last place here we come.

    • Scott

      You do know that there is almost four months until opening day right? I would be really surprised if the front office has decided that they are finished working on the team.

    • DWalker

      Honestly, I am more excited this year than I was last year.
      I think our outfield is no worse than last year, possibly a little bit better, though so much depends on soriano. Defensivly, I think its much better. Its not a great outfield, but last year we were already ready to run Soriano out of town.
      1st base Rizzo is exciting, just hope he can adjust to league adjusting to him. Last year no one expected anything much from Lahair.
      3rd base, we were all hopeful stewart could do something, and some of us were even optomistic. Now we know he was either injured or faking it. He’s back, no excuses and one shot of making the team. Unfortuantly, if hes not for real, 3rd base is still a black hole offensivly.

      Pitching, lots of question marks this year still but last year we were booing bringing back dumpster, volstead was on the team, Shark was a reliever who half the people on here felt had no buisness being granted another chance at rotation and we had a bunch of injury list recovorees. The pen was a total mess last year, half the people here wanted a mercy signing of the iconic Wood, the other half wanted him gone, and almost noone expected him to be very useful. Marmol was a mess and well, the rest of the pen was mostly “Who are these guys?” This year we have a little more confidence in marmol, have signed what looks like a decent closer/set up guy and in general have cleaned up the pen at least a little.
      Is it great, no, but does seem like an improvement over last year. The one thing about this year I really am not happy about, is not the FA signings or trades or lack of, its that we don’t have any prospects we are looking forward to on opening day. Not Theo and Jeds fault, but its still disappointing.

  • Kevin

    I know it’s quite a bit away still and there is so much going on with the Winter meetings and such, but is there any indication about who the top players will be for this years draft? Any major standouts? Just wondering. Thanks

  • Aaron

    I don’t like this move…never liked it from the beginning giving up LeMahieu….but whatever, that’s old news.

    What is perplexing to me is the fact that they already have another lefty in Valbuena for 3B, and it’s almost like they’re the same player. Both seem to work the count. Both have power, and both are known for their glove work (even though stats don’t back that up, and it’s mostly because of the flashy plays they’ve made).

    It’s just weird. Stewart also seemed to have a bad attitude, which followed him from the Rockies where he had this sense of entitlement even though he sucked.

  • Neil

    Updated 4:25pm CST – Ian Stewart will go into Spring
    Training as the Cubs’ starting third baseman according to the Sun-Times. The Cubs are still looking for a right-handed hitting back-up for third base.

  • Tony_Hall

    Neil – Did I miss something or will they be at 41 if they add Fujikawa, Stewart, Rondon, and Schierholtz to the roster?

    When you break down the 40 man roster, it comes down to either Castillo, Concepcion, Rusin or Raley (and hope they clear waivers). Of course all 4 would probably pass through waivers right now and they will also need a spot for 2nd utility infielder (Maysonett NRI).

  • DWalker

    No surprise, I have been expecting this. He has to have been under a microscope, poked and proded enough you gotta think they have confidence in him being healthy now. Especially with the slim 3B market. Be interesting to see what he does healthy and not hiding an injury and trying to work through the pain. Heres hoping he actually makes the most of it.

  • Theboardrider

    I noticed the attitude. What I’m guessing is if he plays well he’s a more likely flip candidate at the deadline. As a guy who proved he could get it done a few years ago, if he returns to form someone may give us some prospects or him. Less likely for Valbuena…

  • DWalker

    I think his attitude was as much fear of washing out then maybe entitlement. He was trying to hide the injury and keep going, rather then risk being taken out, sidelined and loosing that basicly, last chance. The added condition he gets nothing if he fails ST, thats a big hammer, and its nice having a GM whos not afraid to load a contract with conditions like that.

  • Neil

    Updated 4:21pm CST – According to the Tribune, Stewart
    signed a non-guaranteed deal and if he does not make the team out of Spring Training, the Cubs are off the hook for his contract.

  • MikeT_2008

    Yeah there’s very little risk at all, even if he does get through Spring but then either gets hurt and just doesn’t produce it is only $2 million for a year.

  • Neil

    Stewart signed a non-guaranteed contract

  • MikeT_2008

    Ok I guess I’m not quite understanding the wording. Is the contract non-guaranteed for the whole season or does it become guaranteed if he makes the team out of Spring Training?

  • Neil

    If he does not make the team out of Spring Training, the Cubs are off the hook. Once the season starts, they owe him $2 million

  • MikeT_2008

    Thanks Neil, know it probably seems like a dumb question on my part, been busy with Finals and my minds been all over the place.

  • Neil

    No at all … hope I did not come off that way. good luck with your finals

  • MikeT_2008

    Oh no you did not come off that way at all, and thank you.

  • Neil

    No, you did not miss anything … they will have to create a spot to add the three players they have signed over the last five days. I’m starting to wonder if Valbuena is the odd man out. They are looking for a right-handed utility infielder.

  • Ray Ray

    Scott… What other move do you anticipate other than possibly Soriano being moved? This looks like at least 7 out of the 8 starters.

  • Tony_Hall

    Wasn’t thinking Valbuena, as I have thought he would be a bench guy, but if they are looking for a RH guy that can also back-up 3B, then Valbuena could be gone. Campana could also be gone if they are going with Bogusevic as the 5th OF and don’t need to use a roster spot until Opening Day, just like with Maysonett or Gonzalez.

  • Tony_Hall

    I could see Soriano and DeJesus gone, if not by Opening Day, by mid-season.

    Actually by the trade deadline, the only ones I can say will be here for sure are Castro, Rizzo and Castillo. The rest could be completely turned over.

  • Scott

    This FO likes to keep things very close to the vest, so any moves I might “anticipate” would be mere speculation. Castro, Rizzo and Castillo are three I think they would need blown away to move. DeJesus and Barney I think they would move in the right deal. Soriano I think they want to move while his trade value is at highest. Stewart could have tremendous trade value at the deadline if he is healthy. I don’t think the FO is sold on many of the starting 8 as core pieces, but given health, I think you will see improvement from Castro, Rizzo, the catchers, and even Stewart. Soriano will not be as good in 13 as he was in 12, at least in my opinion. But I really think they are far from done working.

  • Mike Deevey

    Does anyone remember how long it took for D-Lee to get over his wrist injury…. A long time. Hope he is Healed

  • Breeden

    That depends on whether you want to factor in all those seasons that Lee “dogged it” to start the year.

  • daverj

    I’d throw Barney into that group. I think he changed some minds last season and now many believe he is a solid starting second baseman. I also think Shark isn’t going anywhere.

  • Tony_Hall

    We were talking starting 8, not the rotation.
    I do not see Barney as a core player, nor do I think anyone would call him solid, as to me solid means with the bat and glove.

    Unless he increases his offensive production quite a bit, we have too much depth up the middle to not have a 2B who produces on both offense and defense, who will win the job from him soon.