Chicago Cubs Trade DJ LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin to the Rockies for Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers

Well, it was the minor deal that had been discussed for days, and tonight the Cubs pulled the trigger. During those days of discussion, the question was: will the Cubs part with Tyler Colvin or DJ LeMahieu for Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart?

It turns out the answer was both.

The Cubs also pick up Casey Weathers, a right-handed minor league pitcher. Weathers, 26, was a first round pick back in 2007, but has never done anything to justify his selection. He’s always struck out a ton of guys, but he’a also always walked a ton of guys. At 26, he’s still not made it out of AA. Suffice it to say, he is a relatively unexciting inclusion. (UPDATE: He was the Rockies’ 14th best prospect before last season according to Baseball America, and he did have Tommy John surgery at one point, so his advanced age is a little more explainable. And, again: he does strike out a ton of batters, to the tune of 11.3 per 9 over his minor league career.)

Which means the Cubs gave up not only Tyler Colvin for Stewart (a swap which would have been acceptable, but unenticing due to Colvin’s cheap contract (relative to Stewart’s)), but also a very useful young player in DJ LeMahieu. When rumors swirled that the Rockies wanted LeMahieu, alone, for Stewart, I thought it was too much to give up for a guy the Rockies were looking to dump. It was reported that the Cubs said no to the LeMahieu for Stewart proposal, and I smiled.

So you can only imagine what I’m thinking now that the Cubs have given up both Colvin and LeMahieu for Stewart.

I’m not too happy about it.

Let’s be clear: neither Colvin nor LeMahieu figured prominently into the Cubs’ immediate future. Colvin showed absolutely nothing last year to demonstrate that his 2010 season wasn’t a mirage. And LeMahieu, 23, had the glove for third, but not the bat, and had the bat for second, but not the glove.

I understand moving them.

But they had value. LeMahieu, in particular, was always a kid just outside the Cubs’ top 10 prospects, and many scouts love his bat. He may not develop power, but becoming a .300/.360/.420 hitter at the big league level was not out of the question. If he blossoms in Colorado, I may be despondent. (Ok, that was dramatic.)

As for who the Cubs pick up, in addition to Weathers, I’m just not that excited about Stewart. Obviously the men in charge see the upside – Stewart is still just 26, destroyed the minors when he was young at every level, and had a decent season and a half two years ago – and I’m not going to question the scouting side of this thing. In isolation, trading LeMahieu and Colvin for Stewart and Weathers is understandable.

What I question is whether Stewart should be handed the Cubs’ starting third base job in 2012, to the exclusion of other possible candidates. Based on what the Cubs gave up to get him, it seems like he will. He’s coming off a lost year in 2011 and a wrist injury, and many scouts – Kevin Goldstein, among them – simply don’t believe he’s a big league regular. And, he’s scheduled to make some $2.5 million in 2012 (with two more arbitration years thereafter). He was at risk for being non-tendered on Monday, but apparently the Cubs felt they couldn’t risk another team swooping in and taking him.

I’m going to have to let this news sink in over the next few days, and hear from the men upstairs, before fully making up my mind. Maybe Stewart won’t be the starter. Maybe this is a precursor to other moves. Maybe saving money at third base was desperately necessary for other really exciting, super awesome moves.

We’ll see.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

251 responses to “Chicago Cubs Trade DJ LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin to the Rockies for Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers”

  1. mooks

    I’m not excited by this trade but I’m not heart broken either. We gave up two “guys” they were nothing that anyone is going to miss too dearly. We got two “guys” one can start for us and has a lot more potential than either we gave up..and quite frankly so does the weathers kid. Prince…sure I’d love to have him but if we don’t I’m okay with that. I’d like to see us get in on Darvish, Cespedes, Soler, and Concepcion. Next year is going to be a nice free agent class as well. I would have liked to have seen the Cubs go after Cuddyer. I’m just not ready to judge anything but I will say this..I sure hope those spots we left open on the 40 man which made it possible to lose the kids we did gets filled in by some refugees..if not our farm system that he has been talking about got even weaker today.

    1. BetterNews

      What do you know about the players you say you like? Not being smart, just asking.

    2. die hard

      Dont see any wiggle room on 40 man roster yet. What open spots do you see?

  2. MikeL

    For those of you wondering and haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, here are Stewarts numbers in AAA last year:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=stewar001ian

    He may be a AAAA player, but I don’t know. Someone already mentioned that Stewart really looked as though he was returning to form after his stint in AAA.

    1. Kyle

      1) 45 games. Too small to project anything from.
      2) Colorado Springs is the single most hitter-friendly environment in all of North American professional baseball. It’s like Coors Field on steroids.

  3. Caleb

    Meh. I’m king of bummed that Colvin didn’t get much of a real shot last year, but what’s done is done. Wish him and DJ the best, and hope that our new guys live up to their potential. Worst case, we didn’t really give up anything we didn’t have to lose, and we can always spin the “upside’ part of the new guys to trade to another team if our development guys don’t think they’re going to work out. Not too much to lose, plenty to gain.

    Think of it in a cost/utility formula. The burden of getting these guys was, for us, lower than their possible ceiling multiplied by the probability of them reaching that ceiling. I’ll roll the dice.

  4. john

    They only have been on the job for a month don’t expect them to turn things around in a weeK? lol When that week is the winter meetings? Yea, I expect them to turn things around. Instead the fans are the ones being turned around might as well bend over while we’re at it.

    1. untitledreality

      Its been a single month. Would you prefer we just go back to the Hendry “big splash” days that got us in this mess? We probably should have offered Pujols 12 years and $300mm just to make sure we got our man huh? Maybe gone 8 years on Wilson while we were at it? Definitely should have resigned Ramirez… get over yourself.

      1. Kyle

        The big splash’s were my least concern with Hendry.

        Two things I really hated about him:

        1) The complete and utter failure of his drafting team.

        2) The little overpays. The chances to save a few million on fungible players that he passed up in favor of overpriced mediocrity.

        Ian Stewart is a perfect example of No. 2.

        1. duck

          fungible

          fungible

          fungible

          a fun word, WHICH I don’t think applies to people.

  5. Justin

    Step back from the ledge, people.

    Flaherty wasn’t a realistic option at 3B because of his glove. I like LeMahieu, but he’s unfortunately not a great fit, either. If he played good enough defense for 2B or had enough power for 3B I’d be grabbing my torch and pitchfork right now, but he doesn’t. On the right team, where power won’t be as important at a corner position, he may really blossom. The Cubs aren’t one of those teams. I want to like Colvin, but he’s the quintessential all or nothing guy. None of those guys were fits here.

    I would much rather have had Headley than Stewart, but at least Stewart is very solid defensively and has a history of being able to take a walk or hit for power. I know little about the pitcher, but you can’t have too much depth in your bullpen. If we’ve learned anything the last two years it’s that you can’t have enough pitchers, whether they’re starters or relievers.

    It’s a lackluster trade, but this is hardly worth starting a revolt over. If there’s anything to be upset about it’s that LeMahieu was a decent trade chip that got used for a guy who may have been non-tendered in a week.

    1. die hard

      Good points, especially as to next week. Who are the Cubs going to non tender?

    2. BetterNews

      I did step back from the ledge, I am now standing on the “steeple”.

    3. ferrets_bueller

      Honestly, there is never anything wrong with trading away low ceiling guys. Or letting them go in the rule 5. We definitely netted a lot of potential today, something this organization is sorely lacking.

  6. john

    The Marlins and Rangers have great 3rd base prospects. Zambrano to Marlins?

    1. CCunt

      Zambrano go a great prospect? Maybe if we pay all of his salary… Is a great prospect worth $18m?

  7. The Omnipresent Mystery Team

    One word: ceiling, ceiling, ceiling.

  8. BAMF

    Did anyone see a radar gun on Weathers?

    1. BAMF

      In other words, how fast does this guy throw?

      1. Luke

        Baseball America has him at 95 MPH, touching 99 with a hard slider.

        1. BAMF

          Thanks man…he sounds like an even wilder Marmol at best, but who knows. One thing you can’t teach is speed.

      2. ferrets_bueller

        99 mph.

  9. matt3

    I like it. I hope we continue to stay away from the big, long term contracts. That’s what we had against Hendry, right?

  10. Tom

    Stewart BA 156? OP 243? OPS 466? Huge mistake. Colvin alone? Yes! If this is planning for the future, Ian had better turn into a Pujols to justify this trade. Unless we get Cuddyer tfor third base. We need Fielder, Willinghm, Gio Gonzales, Madson along with Marshall. Trade Marmol A.S.A.P. Shop Garza for a ton of futures.Dangle Bird. Eat half of Soriano’s
    $’s. Logan Morrison! NOT Ian1 unless his last name is Kinsler!

  11. CBP

    I really want Morales and Headley! I think keeping Garza is something to think about and next year we can attack the free agent pitching market harder.

  12. Who knows

    Let’s get prince

  13. CCunt

    For all the people quoting Stewart’s stats last season… Understand that he had 3 injuries (wrist, hamstring and oblique), and was sent up and down to AAA several times, and being moved around to different positions. His ceiling is much higher than either Colvin’s or LeMahieu’s. I think he needed a change of scenery more than anything.

  14. Ty

    Not that long ago, people where saying how great Marmol was going to be, now people want to trade him!! My point: Colvin and DJ were guys like Theriot and Fontenot, good guys, played hard, but never going to be great. This stewart kid has a chance to be great.

    1. Ogyu

      Then why was he on the verge of being non-tendered?

  15. SosaCrackers

    I liked Stewart, but I would have prefered Headly. I also wouldn’t have given up Colvin straight up, let alone with LeMahieu. Colvin was a victim of idiotic mismanagement by Quade last year. With regular playing time, he’s got a lot brighter future than a lot of people expect. I’m not a fan of this trade, but I guess I’ll trust the FO on this one.

    1. BetterNews

      Please! Not the Quade “sabotage” thing again. Give it a rest, we beg you.

      1. SosaCrackers

        Pinch hitting once a week against a tough lefty is hardly setting anyone up for success. I acknowledge its not all Quades fault, but he deffinately didnt help his developement any.

  16. goatbusters

    Watch colvin become an all star now that we’ve traded him.

    1. BetterNews

      No chance! Maybe in Japan.

  17. mooks

    Not staring at the stats but Stewart can’t hit lefties but even though his Avg. isn’t good he’s a hitter with a lot of pop that isn’t so out of control like a Mark Reynolds. I think if he can get healthy and have an opportunity without looking over his shoulder too much I think(gut feeling) He can hit .265/ 25 hrs. Sometimes up sometimes down. He is athletic enough and big enough to be moved around if need be. The Weathers kid I read up on and watched some video..but He has a live arm..yeah he’s 26 and still in AA but you never know after Tommy John and converting into a pitcher it may click for him. His ceiling is higher than Colvins is I believe. As far as Lemahieu I have buddies that are in love with his size and say he will learn to generate power..maybe he will but I saw a guy that will hit at a decent clip and not many HR’s.will play okay defense and probably play for the Pirates one day. See my thing is I’m sick of the same guy coming through our system. I’ve seen in the last 10 years the Pie’s, and Choi’s, Dubois,Colvins and our multitude of high pick middle infielders that make it to the show..Who cares? I’m trying to be as open minded as I can be. I like too think there is something bigger in the plans too. Theo won’t even discuss payroll so I’m sure he won’t tip his cap to what he is doing now. I’m just sitting back waiting to be awed…but preparing myself for the reality that 2012 probably will be as ugly of a year as we have seen. I got so worked up over what Hendry did..or didn’t do I’m not going to get my draws in a bunch over the first Theo/Jed winter meetings. Honestly I would have been fine with the Cubs moving just about everyone on this roster for youngsters. I’ve waited my whole life. I can wait longer if I believe they are going to clean house and really build the team..I may be crazy but I think they can. I just want to see some guys out there to get excited over besides Castro on offense and a couple guys on the mound..Let’s just see whats going on before we jump off the bridge.

  18. Cubnuts23

    WOW you guy’s are brutal. So it may not bump the Angels out of the headlines for deal of the day, look at it like this. We get a decent prospect (Weathers) and a guy who will actually see time on the field and has a chance to be great (Stewart) for Colvin who would have sat on the bench all year (except when he was needed to pinch hit and strike out for us) and a borderline minor leaguer with no pop in his bat and no real future with the club. At least the 2 we received have a chance to be SOMETHING while we all know the other 2 never would have been (with us anyway).

    Give the new regime a chance to weave their web before gathering a lynch mob! PATIENCE!!!! Remember they didn’t come here to suck!

    1. Cedlandrum

      1/1 Weathers SO/BB ratio. Which wouldn’t be horrible if he were a low strikeout guy. The problem is he is a SO pitcher. He can have all the potential in the world, but he can’t throw the ball over the freaking plate.

      1. Luke

        Apparently his control is due to a balance problem. According to BA, he has a tendency to fall off balance due to his leg kick, which is too high. The Rockies were working on retooling that kick when his arm blew up. If the Cubs fix that problem, the scouts expect his control will fall into line.

        If the Cubs didn’t think they could fix the problem, they wouldn’t have taken it.

        1. Cedlandrum

          His arm blew up three years ago. He has had two full seasons to correct the issue. I have a hard time believing that the Cubs can just fix it.

  19. OHBearCub

    I hope this isnt what Theo is going to call a great baseball trade. I am going to watch the movie Major League before I go to bed. I feel like Randy Qaide tonight. These guys we got are Sh*tty. I pray he doesnt trade Garza god knows what he might take in trade. I hope Ricketts has his Zanex prescription filled. I dont feel impressed at this juncture.

  20. MikeL

    Brett,

    Not sure if you are in on this yet, but John Arguello at Cubs Den is hearing that the Royals are now discussing a potential trade for Garza. They are more desperate for pitching and have a deeper farm system than the Rangers.

    1. Luke

      Any names attached to that rumor yet?

      1. Kansas Cubs Fan

        Some names I’d like to see come back our way from K.C. is Danny Duffy or Mike Montgomery , if were lucky then both

      2. MikeL

        No, I haven’t heard any names, just that the Royals have contacted the Cubs.

        1. Robert

          Or throw in marmol and Jackson too and go get Eric Hosmer!:D that’s something to be excited abogut now!

          1. Kansas Cubs Fan

            The Royals are pretty well set in the pen and have a up and coming centerfielder that should be arriving soon, and they have the corners set with Alex Gordon and Jeff Francouer(who they just gave a 2 year extension to)

            We would be lucky to get Duffy and Montgomery back at the same time.

            The Royals are set to compete in the next couple of years with the kids they have coming up. With an addition like Garza I think the Royals could win the AL central next year.

            You guys should look at the Royals system, It’s something I would love to see Theo and Jed do with the Cubs.

  21. Ogyu

    So the team is going to be better with Stewart at third than they were with Aramis?

    1. Oswego Chris

      Yes.  Because we can spend 13 mil somewhere else now and we have a guy who will really try on defense…

      Stewart can suck in April and May just as bad as Aramis did….

       

       

       

    2. BAMF

      short term speaking of production no, long term definitely in the sense we are not locked into an inflated salary for 3-4 yrs

      1. BAMF

        @ Oswego Chris – Agree 100%

  22. johnbres2

    if it makes anyone feel better, Rockies fans think this trade sucks too. I haven’t a clue whether this is a good trade, tho I am inclined to trust Theo and Jed’s judgment until proven othewise.

  23. Kansas Cubs Fan

    ESPN ChiCubs just said that Hendry is ready to get another MLB job!

    1. Deer

      good, it seems he’s been in Theo’s ear the last couple weeks with the DeJesus and Stewart moves.

  24. Ogyu

    Weathers walked 48 batters in 45 innings. Sounds like a perfect replacement for Marmol.

  25. Oswego Chris

    The only way this upsets me is if Stewart was going to be non-tendered…which we will never know for sure….I am trusting the Theotles on this……

  26. Rooster

    I’m sorry did I miss something. Were the Cubs going to be WS contenders in 2012? No A-ram, no platoon at 3B. Let them try to rekindle a dude’s career at 3B. The guy ripped up the minors throughout his career. They RUSHED him up and Tracy mismanged this dude just like Q screwed up Colvin. Vitters is still a few years away so if they strike out oh well. I like Stewie’s upside more than Colvin. Hendry screwed that up as well. I trust our front office on this one. I like Stewart and think the kid can play. The fact that this message thread is anti-Stewart means that the front office did it’s job and got it right. DJ-utility…who cares. Health is everything. Hopefully Dejesus and Stewie are 100 percent when the season begins. Great additions to a new look Cubs. Theo seems to like LaHair. Stewart, Castro, bring in O-dog for 2nd (not sold on Barney) and LaHair at 1st. Better than last year’s crap. OUT

  27. Rooster

    Again, U of M should NOT be in the Sugar Bowl let alone a BCS game. Rich Rod just said today that if he were coaching this unit they’d be 11-1. State got screwed. Who the hell did they beat? Am I missing something? GO GREEN!

  28. miggy80

    Hmmmm, interesting trade for sure. Is this our first taste of advanced saber mathematics? Was there something in the numbers that we didn’t see? Something the our scout team saw in these two? What ever it is my friends these types of deals that back up the front page deals. Did Theo and the boys make the right move? Only time will tell, but these are the types of deals that the success or failure will lie directly with management.

  29. Lou Cub

    I was a little pissed with the inclusion of LeMehieu, but the more I think about this deal, the more I like it…Maybe as Cubs fans we tend to overrate our youngsters hoping for the next big thing and truthfully Colvin and LeMehieu aren’t as great as we thought

  30. Cheryl

    After reading all the pros and cons, to me it seems like the cubs may have done well on this. We all know that Aram’s defense was bad. This will give more confidence to those on the mound. Weaver may be fine. Many say he has a high ceiling. Let’s see what else Thro and company have in mind with other trades, etc..
    Plus, if these two former cubs were blocked in Chicago whose to deny them an opportunity elsewhere.