The Cubs announced on Tuesday that the team cut ties with third baseman Ian Stewart. The team suspended Stewart for 10-games two weeks ago in response to the comments he made about the organization on Twitter. The Cubs used the loyalty clause in his contract as a way to discipline Stewart for his actions.
Stewart’s unpaid suspension was upheld and he was granted his unconditional release.
The Cubs acquired Ian Stewart from the Rockies on the final day of the Winter Meetings in 2011. Stewart struggled with injuries last season before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair long term damage to his wrist. The Cubs re-signed Stewart last winter less than a week after not tendering him a contract for the 2013 season. The Cubs signed Stewart to a $2 million contract that included an incentives clause.
Stewart spent the off-season reportedly working on his hitting with Rod Carew. Stewart injured his left quad on his first at bat of an Intrasquad game in late February. After admitting he was not ready to play at the big league level as he tried to work himself back from the quad injury, the Cubs activated him from the DL on May 3 and optioned him to Iowa.
Stewart, who was with the team, decided to leave Iowa for the three days that players are allowed after being optioned down to the minors. Stewart’s actions did not sit well with the front office and he was designated for assignment less than five days later. After a conversation with Theo Epstein, Stewart decided to accept the assignment knowing he would not receive the remainder of his $2 million contract if he did not stay in the organization.
Financial terms of the settlement have not yet been released.
Stewart’s agent, Larry Reynolds, said “the release is probably best for all parties involved” and he “expects Ian back in the big leagues at some point in the near future.”