Chicago Cubs Re-Sign Ian Stewart ($2 Million, Plus $500K in Incentives – Deal Not Guaranteed)

After whiffing on – apparently – their preferred third base targets in Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez, the Cubs may be turning back to the guy they thought was going to be the guy in 2012.

According to Jerry Crasnick (who’s been all over Cubs stuff this week), the Cubs are going to be re-signing free agent third baseman Ian Stewart, though the details are not yet known. Crasnick adds that Stewart is “back to full health after playing 2 years with a broken bone in his wrist.” We all know about the surgery he had late in the season which, according to Stewart, finally addressed a lingering problem that other doctors had missed for years. The problem caused him to miss all but 55 games in 2012, and probably impacted his performance.

I’ve been on board with bringing Stewart back for a month now, once it became clear just how disastrous the third base market is. With Stewart, who is still just 27, the Cubs get the upside associated with a hopefully fixed wrist, and they get it for probably very cheap. Once again: 2013 is not likely to be a competitive season for the Cubs, so these are the kinds of risks they should be taking.

Stewart, you should note, is not necessarily being brought back as *the* guy at third base next year. The signing, depending on interest from other teams, could be something in the range of a flyer, and the Cubs will see what they have in him in the Spring. If that’s true, Luis Valbuena will also get a look, or the Cubs might bring in a right-handed platoon-mate for Stewart. (Though, it’s notable that Valbuena, a lefty, is actually a better hitter against lefties, so that could be your platoon right there.)

Given that Stewart was non-tendered last week, and would have made around $2.5 million in arbitration next year, you can safely assume he’ll be getting less than that.

If Stewart is, indeed, signed, that would put the Cubs’ 40-man roster at 41 (together with Nate Schierholtz, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Hector Rondon), so there will have to be a corresponding move before the signing(s) is (are) official.

UPDATE: Bob Nightengale says Stewart is getting $2 million, plus $500K in incentives. So, technically, it’s cheaper than he would probably have cost in arbitration, but not too much cheaper. It’s likely that the third base market did what it did, and bumped up Stewart’s price a little. Still, clearly not an amount of money that prohibits the Cubs from doing anything in the short or long-term.

UPDATE 2: Like Schierholtz, Stewart won’t have enough service time through 2013 to qualify for free agency, so he can be offered arbitration after the season if things work out swimmingly.

UPDATE 3: And confirmation from the man, himself: “Glad to be healthy and back with the Cubs. The support from the Cubs organization and the fans has been incredible. Thank you all so much.”

UPDATE 4: Gordon Wittenmyer confirms my expectations about the plan for Stewart – he’s considered the starter, but the Cubs would still like to bring in a righty who can back him up (and, presumably, spell him against tough lefties).

UPDATE 5: Paul Sullivan jumps in with a significant update: a source tells him that Stewart’s deal is not guaranteed. If he doesn’t make the team in Spring Training, he can be released without a financial hit to the Cubs. This is good to know, and makes the deal look even better, but it’s kind of academic, because, if that happens, the Cubs are still without a third baseman, presumably. Then again, given the market, who was that guy going to be anyway? (You should note that arbitration contracts are also not guaranteed (essentially, if you’re on one and are released in Spring Training, the team owes you 30 or 45 days termination pay (depending on when released)). So this deal is probably kind of approximating an arbitration deal.)

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

360 responses to “Chicago Cubs Re-Sign Ian Stewart ($2 Million, Plus $500K in Incentives – Deal Not Guaranteed)”

  1. Frank

    Very happy.Even if he becomes a league average 3B, this becomes a steal of a deal. If the wrist problem truely is repaired, it could be even better than that. It also lays a nice path the Baez taking over in 2015. 2013: Start with Stewart in Chicago and Vitters in AAA. If Vitters is raking, and Stewart producing, we then have the option of trading Stewart come July. If Vitters fizzles, we keep Stewart, maybe extend him through 2014 with Villanueva as the next option, and of course, Javi behind him.

    I’m just wondering how much different this contract is that wheatever he’d have gotten had we not non tendered him to begin with.

  2. Frank

    Oh, and anyone unhappy with the move, who did you have in mind for 3B? A lot of teams are in the hunt and not many options.

  3. Fastball

    We have plenty of ways to make roster room for Stewie.

    Raley, Rusin, Clevenger, Szcur and Campana can all be DFA’d to Iowa. We are going to have to DFA at least 3 or 4 of those 5 no matter what. We still have people to sign this off season. I say they all go back to minor league contracts off the 40 man 1 by 1 as the new players are signed.

    1. TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

      Totally agree with you Fastball

  4. ottoCub

    The Cubs are having a good year for signings and trades. They are an improved team over last year’s opening day line-up at catcher, 1B, CF, the bullpen, the bench, and now 3B (assuming that a surgically-repaired Stewart is better than an injured Stewart). And the farm system is also remarkably better!

    1. Pat

      There is zero chance that 1b will be improved over the combined output from LaHair and Rizzo last year. Okay, maybe 5% chance.

      1. Frank

        No, but Dejesus (CF) and Schierholtz/Sappelt (RF) is almost a sure thing to be an upgrade over Shite (CF) DeJesus (RF.) Castillo/Navarro can’t be a downgrade from the production, or lack there of we got at Catcher last season. A big X Factor will be Soriano’s ability to reproduce his 2012 season, but he’s one of the few guys making real big league money on this team, so pressure kind of comes with the territory.

      2. Frank

        But hopefully, that output will be more consistent throughout the season by evening out the gap between LaHair’s freefall (which actually began in early June or so) and Rizzo’s call up.

      3. ottoCub

        Yes, a full year of Rizzo is an improvement over a half-year of LaHair and a half-year of Rizzo.

        1. Pat

          Not considering the numbers LaHair put up.

          1. bbmoney

            I mean Rizzo got called up on June 26. Through June 25 LaHair did have very good numbers.

            But Rizzo could certainly be better than he was in his 87 games (which was still pretty good) and he’s a much better defender at 1b than LaHair.

            So 0% puts the odds wayyyyy to low.

            1. Frank

              If I remember correctly though, LaHair’s numbers began to slide in late May/early June–I could be wrong though.

              1. bbmoney

                Yeah, but they were still pretty darn good (but rapidly deteriorating). I think he was at.285/.366/.540…but again falling quickly.

                I’m just saying Rizzo for a full year has a chance to at least equal their 1b value from last year with pretty good offensive numbers and really good defense at 1b.

      4. ottoCub

        My point was that the Cubs are improving (albeit slowly and gradually) at many positions when compared to last year’s opening line-up. Isn’t that what we want them to do? Get better every year? The Cubs are arguably improved at 7 positions now than they were at the beginning of the 2012 year. They have declined at starting pitcher, but the off-season isn’t over. Additionally, the farm system is much stronger.

        Catcher: Castillo/Navarro is an improvement over Soto/Clevenger
        1B: Rizzo is an improvement over LaHair
        2B: Barney is Barney
        3B: A surgically repaired Stewart is an improvement (hopefully) over an injured Stewart
        SS: Castro is Castro
        LF: Soriano is Soriano
        CF: DeJesus is an improvement over Byrd
        RF: Schierholtz will likely be about the same as DeJesus

        SP: The 2012 starting five is probably better than where the Cubs are now because of the trade of Dempster and Garza’s injury

        Bullpen: Whatever combination you want to choose from today’s roster is an improvement over K. Wood, Dolis, R. Lopez, L. Castillo, Russell, Marmol, and Camp

        Bench: Sappelt/Campana/Navarro/Valbuena is an improvement over DeWitt/Baker/Johnson/Clevenger/Mather

        1. Kyle

          We’re a little better than last year. But after the massive step back we took last year, it’s going to take a lot more than “a little better” at a time to get us to where we need to be.

          1. Luke

            Speaking of that… I still can’t poke any holes in your 79-82 win projection based on the current roster. And given that it is only Dec 6, odds are good that more talent will be added to the roster by spring training.

            The one area that could throw a wrench in things is left field. If the Cubs do move Soriano, I have a hard time finding a realistic way to replace his production, and without his bat the offense is going to take a beating.

            1. Kyle

              That’s the big hole: Injuries and trades. Sometimes, you get lucky and get 160 starts out of your Opening Day rotation, but I wouldn’t place a really high bet on that right now with the Cubs.

              1. Luke

                I like the depth that is forming at pitching… all pitching. The offense still looks thin, though.

                1. Kyle

                  I want more.

                  If we match last year’s expenditures, we still should have a decent chunk of money left. I want another starter (push Wood to No. 6) and another good reliever.

                  1. Luke

                    Agreed, and I think more is coming. Like I said last night, I’d love to see them sign both Marcum and McCarthy (not that that is likely to happen either, but I suspect the Cubs will be in touch with both players at the very least).

                  2. ottoCub

                    I agree – the Cubs need more. They need to sign another starting pitcher (especially since Garza is an unknown quantity). And they need, if possible, to find another high-SLG bat. I don’t think they can count on Soriano to produce at the same level again, even if he stays on the team.

                  3. King Jeff

                    Me too. Marcum would be nice, then I would want two decent relievers, another outfielder, and a backup middle infielder.

                    1. Kyle

                      We’re going to get the backup infielder, for sure. A right-handed hitter who can play the middle well. And probably another AAA type who can play SS in an emergency.

                      I’m really curious if we get another left-handed hitting outfielder. Ideally, both DeJesus and Schierholtz need platoon partners, but we only have one Sappelt.

                    2. Luke

                      I’d rather find a good defensive second baseman who can hit and move Barney into the backup infielder role, but I suspect that isn’t going to happen yet.

                    3. Kyle

                      Sorry, above should read right-handed hitting outfielder, for hitting left-handed pitchers.

                      The roster is starting to get really, really crowded.

                      We’re at 41 now, and we don’t have a second backup infielder after Valbuena, we presumably want another outfielder to platoon with DeJesus/Schierholtz, we seem to want one more relief pitcher, we are all hoping for one more starter, and isn’t there some prospect who has to be added to the 40-man by spring?

                      The “easy to cut” guys off the 40-man are running slim. Campana, Raley, Struck would be my first three off, and that’s already starting to hurt a little bit.

                    4. dabynsky

                      Struck isn’t on the 40 man roster.

                    5. Kyle

                      Derp, I meant Rusin and Raley. All those pitchers start to blur together.

                    6. dabynsky

                      I kind of figured that was who you were referring to, but just thought we should be clear.

                    7. Luke

                      I’d rather not cut Rusin loose yet. He’s a solid ground ball lefty who did reach the majors at 22. Sure, he struggled when he got there, but so have a lot of other pitchers. There is no guarantee he will work out, but I think he’s worth keeping around over, say, Campana and Clevenger.

                    8. Kyle

                      They’re going to keep three catchers on the 40 man, so there’s no point in cutting Clevenger. Or at least if you cut him, it’s not going to free up space because you’ll just add another catcher.

                      One of those PSD insidery guys said that the Cubs are toying with using Clevenger in the Tyler Houston role as a third catcher/backup corner IF guy.

                  4. bbmoney

                    Another starter is my biggest want yet this offseason.

                    And by another starter I mean a McCarthy/Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez guy. Not just another flippable guy.

                    Won’t be the end of the world if they don’t. But it would make me really really happy.

          2. ottoCub

            I agree. But improvement at 7 positions, along with a much deeper and stronger farm system — all by December 5 — is a huge step in the right direction.

            1. Kyle

              This offseason does not fill me with rage. It’s not great, but it doesn’t fill me with rage, even with Ian Stewart’s return.

  5. Believe in 2015

    The one thing I’m looking forward to in 2013 is seeing the new and improve Brett Jackson!

  6. Need mee owner

    Per mr.homer simpson,dooooooooooope

  7. matt

    It’s a LONG offseason when we are getting excited about Ian Stewart, and Jason Grilli

  8. TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

    Come on Kyle, let’s hear your displeasure about this decision :)

  9. Serious Cubs Fan

    Does anyone know if Stewart signed to a minor league contract? Please say he did?

    1. Frank

      Ian Stewart signed a minor league contract. There, I said it. However, the truth is that he signed a 2 MM big league deal with 500K in incentives.

  10. Need mee owner

    Tom was a cub fan now he be a cheap arz owner

    1. Frank

      Assuming that you forget about the fact that he essentially offered Epstein an open check book, and Epstein chose to go this route.

      1. gutshot5820

        I highly doubt he offered Epstein an open checkbook. In fact, an argument can be made that he is on a low budget payroll right now.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          How open the checkbook is/was/will be is not too relevant for the third base situation. If this were a case where somebody signed David Wright at a price that we think that the Cubs could have matched, then it would be. However, all of the available 3Bmen either are part-time players (Chavez, Keppinger) or not really 3Bmen (Youk, Reynolds).

          The Yanks might give Youk $12M for 1 year. I could see Youk taking that simply because he almost certainly would get to go to the post-season next year.

          1. Adam

            No, my guess is that when the Cubs are competitive they will have a high payroll. They know they can’t compete right now so they’re not saddling themselves with bad contracts that might hurt their ability to add a few years down the road when they can finally compete.

            This why aren’t we competing now nonsense is irritating. This franchise does not have the base level talent to compete now, plain and simple.

            1. willis

              You say that but…

              With the money they have, why not go after a Sanchez or go bigger with Greinke. Who’s to say with a three headed monster at the top of the rotation that can’t be a competitive team? I get the reasons why not to do that, but someone like Sanchez could add wins now and in the future. And it’s not like money is tight. Instead they waste money on bounce back TJS guys and some dude with a 5+ ERA. It just screams “we want to suck, so kiss our ass fans.” Kinda frustrating.

              1. Rcleven

                You still have to score runs to win and as the roster stands there built to prevent and not produce. Just not built to win 1 to 0 2 to 1 games.
                Offense has to be built up first.

                1. Muck

                  Adding a beast pitcher like Greinke won’t automatically make you in contention or more competitive. Yeah it would get everyone riled up but remember when the Mariners got Cliff Lee. Yeah look how they’re doing now. Trying to do the same thing with Josh Hamilton now.

        2. Jimmy james

          The money is just nit being spent where you want

  11. willis

    So….where do you stick Stewart in the lineup? 6th? 7th? Oy this is a bad team. At this rate, as I argued the other day, just give Jackson center and let him sink or swim. Winning isn’t a priority of this FO, so who cares? Stick him in the two spot behind DeJesus and let him have at it. So what if he fails.

    1. TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

      My lineup looks like this, DeJesus, Castro, Rizzo, Soriano, Stewart, Castillo, Scheirholtz, Barney

      1. Matty Ice

        I just vomited

        1. willis

          Stewart protecting Soriano? He won’t see any good pitches. I’d actually stick Castro behind Soriano to protect him. Do something like…

          DeJesus, Barney, Rizzo, Soriano, Castro, Castillo, Stewart, Scheirholtz, P

          Puke worthy.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            There is little evidence that “protection” exists. However, it certainly is not going to pertain to a guy like Sori: it really can only work for a guy who has a good batting eye, and against pitchers who’s control in the strike zone is sufficiently bad that they only way the can get batters to swing and miss (or hit the ball poorly) is to pitch outside of the strike zone.

            At any rate, putting a good hitter or a bad hitter behind Sori is not going to alter how you pitch to him: try to mix up outer corner fastballs with sliders (which he has a hard time separating) and hit the upper inner portion of the strike zone. Do that if Babe Ruth is next, or if Ben Revere is next: either way, that’s your best chance at getting Sori out.

        2. TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

          stop drinking Natty Ice

      2. MightyBear

        I like that lineup. They’ll score more runs than last years team.

  12. TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

    Need Mee, have you read the Jesse Rogers ESPN article?

  13. gutshot5820

    I read somewhere the avg playoff team has two WAR players at every position on avg. I guess we are all getting excited about how many negative WAR players we can accumulate at every position and hoping some may turn out to be zero WAR or one WAR. Yahoo!!!!

    1. Matty V

      Again, can you provide some actual answers to what the Cubs should be doing instead, or is your only act one of complaining about everything the FO does?

      1. MichiganGoat

        The former

    2. gutshot5820

      I’ve posted many times before. We should have signed both Darvish and Cespedes when we had the chance. Both are solid additions to the core and worth any first round draft pick and only cost money, plus are right in the wheelhouse in terms of age and talent for what the Cubs needed. Also, we could have signed Prince Fielder and used Cashner and someone like Jackson together to trade for Headley instead of Rizzo. We could have kept both Marshall and Mahom and extended both. Extended Garza instead of trying to trade him. Signed the Japanese pitcher we just did. Sign one of Greinke or Sanchez or trade for Shields or another pitcher.

      SP 1/ Greinke 2/ Darvish 3/ Garza 4/ Samardzia 5/ Malholm
      RP Marmol, Marshall, Fujikawa, Russell, Cabrera, Zych, Camp,, Bowden,
      Outfield Soriano, Cespedes, Dejesus
      Infield Fielder, Barney, Castro, Headley
      Catcher Castillo, Clevenger

      That’s a competitive team that will push our payroll to the top but is balanced and young enough to last to be competitive until the kids can contribute.

      We still get to keep our young core of Amora, Baez, Solar, Vogel, this years first round pick plus all the others and this years draft and International.

      Also, we can still play the trade veterans game in the middle of the season if need be. we can trade off Soriano and Marmol for small pieces and maybe trade one of our young core for an outfielder to replace Soriano. Use players like Lake and Watkins as bench players to fill in rosters like normal large market teams.

      How about that?

      1. Tommy

        Let it go, bro. Darvish and Cespedes are gone.

        1. gutshot5820

          That is my point EXACTLY. Every year another free agent is GONE and you guys keep complaining that we have too many holes to fill. After this year is gone, this class is forever gone again and NEXT YEAR you all will be complaining again that we have too many holes to fill. Ridiculous to even argue,

          1. Tommy

            I don’t know who you mean when you say ‘you guys’, but I have never complained here or anywhere else about how many holes we have to fill.

            And as far as Darvish and Cespedes go, several teams lost out on them, not just the Cubs. As I recall, the Cubs came in 2nd on both of them. If you want to be a little upset over Cespedes, I can understand that, but Darvish was a closed bid deal, and it was a ridiculous amount of money just to talk with him.

            I guess I don’t see the point in crying over spilt milk. Look forward, not back. Unless you have a time machine, you can’t change anything that has already happened. But by all means, if you want to continue complaining about moves made and not made in the past, feel free, but don’t get upset when everyone else doesn’t agree with you.

            1. gutshot5820

              Well you know what? It is ridiculous to even play this what if game. Someone asked me to play it and now they are saying everything is impossible because its all in the past. LOL Whatever. It is also equally ridiculous to play the farm game and start slotting all our A ball players as all stars in two years. Not going to happen either. We can say we could have done this or that and nobody knows if it would have worked or not. Just as easily as it to say we can’t know if the minor league players will live up to their potential.

              All I’m saying is, it is possible to spend some money now short term without going nuts and be competitive until the farm produces, To say we cannot compete until the farm produces therefore we should not get any impact players because the cost too high sounds a bit weird to me but whatever. I’m sure at the end of this year when we are on pace to set records for losses, people will change their minds.

              1. Tommy

                It is ridiculous to play the ‘what if’ game. We agree on that.

            2. Matty V

              Agreed. Rehashing what a team should have done in the past isn’t an answer, it’s a complaint. We are where we are now and every move forward starts from here, not some place we wish we could have been if things had happened differently. I wish the Cubs had never signed Milton Bradley, or traded Colvin and LeMahieu for Stewart and Weathers, or hired Mike Quade as manager… But they did. Real answers are what the Cubs do from the point they are presently at.

              1. Matty Ice

                The answers should have started minute Theo took over. Instead he’s put two 100 loss teams one the field.

                1. Believe in 2015

                  Cubs are not going to lose 100 games this year

          2. DocPeterWimsey

            This class didn’t have a 3rd baseman. The OFers in this class have huge deficiencies of one sort of another (Upton doesn’t walk and K’s a ton; Bourne has no power; Hamilton doesn’t walk and has off-field problems that actually affect his play).

            Most of us here know and have known this. Heck, it seems like Brett used the phrase “weak free agent class” in every other Lukewarm Stove posting! I would have been more upset had Jed & Theo signed an Upton, Bourne or Hamilton than that they did not.

            Now, if somebody manages to get Headley or another solid 3Bman away from the Pads for a reasonable price, then, I, too, will be a bit peeved. However, I’ll also be absolutely stunned!

            1. Tommy

              Thanks Doc – the voice of reason.

              1. gutshot5820

                You act like anybody who does not condone waiting until the farm produces all stars are not true Cub fans and are unreasonable. I contend that people here constantly chanting to wait until the farm produces are NOT true cub fans and are probably on the Ricketts payroll. I still haven’t heard one person present a logical reason why we cant have a team that competes and produce the farm at the same time. The only difference between the two scenarios is one has a higher payroll than the other. We would still maintain Almora, Solar, Baez, Vizcaino, Vogel, plus this years entire draft. The only person a lower payroll benefits is Ricketts so why are you all crying if we sign Bourn or/and Sanchez? How does that negatively effect our long term plan. The draft is capped and the kids are not going to be up another two three years and then a year to adjust. So who do you want play the outfield until then? Shierholtz?

                And please stop clamoring about who we should have signed. If I had a 20M dollar FO and scouting dept I’m sure a lot of posters on this board, including Brett could field a solid team with a payroll of 150M. Theo is no scouting genius that’s for sure, he is a great executive and has the talents to run an entire organization, but a lot the picks and signing do not come directly from his own opinion.

                Also, this constant comparison of we should not sign a free agent, look at what Hendry did is so stupid. There are a great many examples of a team being turned around in a year or two with wise signings. Cherry picking one of the worst examples of a GM to define what a typical free agent signing does to team is ridiculous. How about pointing out some of the better free agent signings as examples. After all, if Theo is a genius and his prospects are going to be great he should be able to pick the great free agents too, right?

                1. TWC

                  I contend that people here constantly chanting to wait until the farm produces are NOT true cub fans and are probably on the Ricketts payroll.

                  Listen, kid, this isn’t the first time you’ve made this absurd claim. But it’s so ridiculous — so plainly absurd — that I’m baffled that you could actually be serious. It’s like your own version of an X-Files conspiracy.

                  1. gutshot5820

                    Ok, LOL you are so ridiculous, I knew you would be the first person to respond. You just cant help yourself. If you cant see that I am making that remark as an expression that “I cant believe that you would want the payroll to be that low, the only people that would even consider approving of this must be working for the Ricketts” then you are exactly who I thought you were. It was an over the top statement to make a point but I realize you are on autopilot and have no control and absolutely have to make a snarky comment to anyone who thinks the Ricketts are being cheap.

                    1. Spencer
                    2. TWC

                      When someone tells me I’m not a “true Cubs fan” — especially for a reason as stupid as disagreeing with their opinion of how the team should be run — I get angry, and I want to tell them to go get bent.

                      So go get bent, kid.

            2. Kyle

              Have a look at future classes. It’s not going to get better.

              Waiting for the perfect player is a great way to congratulate yourself on how efficient you’re being while other teams win the World Series.

              1. Matty V

                Couldn’t you argue that the weak future classes are the exact reason why you focus on developing your own players in the minors over spending on mediocre players just because they are available?

                1. Kyle

                  False choice. One has nothing to do with the other.

                  1. Matty V

                    I’m not being snarky… I’m genuinely curious how you develop young players and promote them to the big league roster when there are free agents signed long term who are already in place there. Or are you endorsing signing guys to shorter term deals so you have flexibility when the prospects are ready? If that’s the case then I think I’d agree with you.

                    1. Kyle

                      I’m genuinely confused by your confusion.

                      In the event that you happen to have a long-term free agent and a prospect ready to promote in the same position, you either switch positions or trade one.

          3. Mike

            Darvish was part of the posting process. The Cubs tried to sign him, but the Rangers just outbid them. You make it sound like they were just cheap and didn’t make a bid when, by all reports, they bid pretty aggressively for him.

      2. Muck

        We couldn’t have gotten both Cespedes and Darvish that woulda been impossible lol. And anyways like you said that would be pushing the payroll. But thats not the route Theo and Jed wanna take

      3. DocPeterWimsey

        Once again, the Cubs never had a chance to sign Darvish. The Rangers’ posting blew everyone else’s out of water by 10′s of millions of dollars, by all accounts.

        As for Cespedes, the Cubs got trumped plain and simple. It looked like a very risky deal for the A’s at the time. So far, it has paid off: but several other teams other than the Cubs were not willing to bet on it.

        As for Headley, again, get him out of your mind. Several teams other than the Cubs were hoping that the Padres sale last year included him: and the media just assumed that this was the case. We’ll never know the details, but the Pads probably were offered more than the Cubs had available in their system 12 months ago. The Pads insisted that they were building around Chase, and he stayed put. All of the buzz said that multiple contenders were trying to pry Headley away from the Pads in July: yet the Pads kept to their original story (we are building around him) and he is still in SD.

        Again, there are several other very good GMs out there who know about these players and who are in on possible transactions. However, guys like Headley still stay put, and guys like Darvish and Cespedes still stay on one team. Note that it’s not like one GM managed to sign both Darvish and Cespedes while also conning Headley out of the Padres: the competition is just too intense.

        1. gutshot5820

          This is a never ending circle, the Cubs can get anyone they wanted if they wanted to bid high enough, OF COURSE we NEVER had the chance to get Darvish because we didnt bid high enough. We didnt get Cespedes because we didnt want to spend the money for the risk. We didnt get a lot of other free agents because the cost was too high.

          I see a pattern here.

          As for Headley, I am of course making an assumption but it is not unreasonable. San Diego must have like Cashner enough so adding Jackson and another piece may have done it instead of Rizzo.

          I’m not saying all these at once are possible, but they are not unreasonable IF you are willing to spend the money, You are right, it won’t happen all in one year, but several years. But this constant chanting of this is not our year is ridiculous to me. You have to start filling holes now so you are now in the same situation year after year,

  14. cubsklm

    Seven year veteran, averages 75 games a season, .231 career batting average, 8 homers a year, 30 RBIs. What’s not to like?

    Please tell me the price of Old Style is not increasing next year at the ballpark.

    1. The Dude Abides

      Stewart was the 10th player selected in the first round in 2003, those high prospects never bust give him time…

  15. Curt

    upside what upside does Stewart have if we’re going to stink anyways let valbuena play at least he wants to be here, Stewart sure gave the impression last yr yr that he didn’t want to be, I realize the alternatives were bad but man Stewart is not the answer, what a great winter meetings.

  16. Kyle

    The upside is that his wrist ends his season a little early this year, in spring training, and we only waste the money and not the playing time.

    1. gutshot5820

      LOL. That made me laugh. That’s cruel even for you.

    2. DarthHater

      Sad Kyle:

    3. BT

      playing time that should be going to…..?

      1. Matty V

        Most of the complainers on here have no actual answers. It’s easier just to throw stones than to put actual thought into a solution.

        1. MichiganGoat


        2. Kyle

          I’ve listed alternatives repeatedly. It is not my problem that you can’t be bothered to read them before commenting.

          1. Matty V

            I didn’t mean to call you out specifically, Kyle. You actually do have good thoughts as to why you disagree with the direction of the franchise. My frustration is with those who don’t bother with solutions. I can respect a difference of opinion if it’s well thought out. I can’t respect complainers who don’t like something, but when asked to offer a better alternative, remain silent.

          2. BT

            My bad, I’ll go through the 216 responses to the Jason Grilli thread and see if it’s in there. If not, I’ll comb through the Rondon thread and see if it’s in there. Failing that, I’ll spend the rest of my day trying to find Kyle’s nuggets of wisdom pertaining to suitable replacements for Ian Stewart. I’ve seen plenty of snark insinuating that you know there ARE plenty of replacements, but I haven’t been lucky enough to spot those magical posts where you grace us with the actual names.

            Or you could have put it right here instead of lecturing us. Which sort of makes a lot more sense.

            1. Kyle

              If you really do some digging, you’ll find a list of 20 or so I posted earlier in the offseason. It was pretty funny. Worth your time.

              1. BT

                I’ll just start keeping a Kyle scrapbook. Certainly lectures about checking your earlier posts are easier to type than actually typing the names, because it’s our job to remember everything you post.

                Maybe you could see if Brett could simply create a “posts of Kyle” portion of the site, so we’d have handy access to your earlier thoughts?

                (sorry it took so long to get back to you, but I decided to go through every thread ever created on the board, just to be sure I didn’t miss any of your posts. Just finishing them up now).

  17. Sanchez

    Okay why are you guys complaining ? Who else would play 3rd basemen for the cubs ? ? Headley ? Zimmerman ? Longoria ? Cabrera ? I would like to have one of them but why trade 3 or 4 great prospects

    1. MichiganGoat

      It would take more than prospects and some people just love to complain.

      1. Sanchez

        Yea thats truee but its not all about ofense ,do you think our starting rotation is good enough to compete with the rest of the National Leauge

  18. Need mee owner

    Jessie rodgers is under theos desk

  19. Kyle

    KyleJRM ‏@KyleJRM
    @IAN_STEWART_2sc I don’t think your wrist was ever hurt. You just can’t hit and yell “ow” when a team is about to figure it out. #hater

    1. MaxM1908

      I love how two out of Kyle’s last three tweets are direct insults to Ian Stewart.

    2. MichiganGoat

      I really can’t respect someone who makes just a disgusting comment to professional and then puts it out for every to see. Disgusting.

      1. Kyle

        I was *really* hoping for your respect, too. Well, this life’s wasted.

        1. MichiganGoat

          You realize how childish sending out a tweet like that makes you sound. I may not have agreed with your comments but acting like that and being proud of that behavior destroys any credibility you once had, it is the behavior of a troll. You had valid reasons for bring against the trade and this signing but to say he’s faking the injury showed your true colors.

          1. Kyle
            1. MichiganGoat

              That’s your rebuttal? Where is the mini epic?

          2. fromthemitten

            yeah I’m sure the team doctors and whoever performed surgery on his wrist were all in on this scheme to dupe Jed and Theo

      2. Believe in 2015

        I agree with you goat

  20. Cub Fan Dan

    @PWSullivan Stewart returns on non-guaranteed $2 million, 1-year contract. If released in spring training, Cubs off hook

  21. Cubby Mike

    Love Campana’s speed, but unless he becomes the best bunter in the Majors, he isn’t worth keeping around. If he wins the bunting tournament this spring, he becomes an important cog.

  22. Kenster

    I believe the majority of these comments from the people who are upset or annoyed by this signing are mostly based off the fact of the Cubs lost Colvin and LaMehieu for Stewart which Stewart didn’t hold up his half of the trade and disappointed. He is healthier now, I believe, more than last year at this time. This is a good signing a bit disappointed since they lost out on Chavez and Keppinger but he was the 3rd option in my eyes. Good risk so do be upset by it cuz when healthy he is better than the rest of the available options.

  23. Bret Epic

    5.25 max with incentives with Nathan Schierholtz and Ian Stewart. I can guarantee between Ian Stewart and Nathan Schierholtz, they’ll be more productive than the signing of Milton Bradley a few years ago.

    1. gutshot5820

      I’ve laughed many times reading some of these posts the last few days. All these grown men complaining and whining about their point of view. Thanks guys. LOL. Btw…screw you cheap Ricketts!!

      1. DarthHater

        Great. Went and overloaded my irony-meter again…

        1. TWC

          Jeez, mine completely exploded.

          1. DarthHater

            If you’re gonna hang out here, you gotta get the industrial strength model.

  24. Curt

    what I don’t understand I’s this team has the money to compete and while I do agree yu need to build the farm system why can’t a competitive team be put out there as well I’m not saying spend Yankees kind of money but a couple free agents to start the foundation for the kids in a couple years

    1. kranzman54

      If the Cubs could get a BJ Upton for two years they would put out a competitive team. Everyone keeps complaining that we can do both, but to get top free agents you need to either grossly overpay on a three year deal (Victorino $39 million) or make a big time long term commitment.

      However, when you bring up your own talent, you get reasonable contracts (Like what we saw with Castro). The Cubs will spend mney once some of their home grown talent arrives.

  25. Serious Cubs Fan

    This signing would have been much more attractive if it was a minor league contract. then we wouldnt have to waste a 40 man roster spot on stewart

  26. Believe in 2015

    Babies can’t sprint guys! Babies need to crawl and walk first :-)

    1. BadMetaphorCop

      What’s all this, then???

  27. ramy16

    Mark Reynolds is still out there!

  28. hankp

    So with it being a minor league deal, that saves us a slot on the 40 man at least until the end of ST, right?

    1. King Jeff

      It’s a minor league deal?


    Hope he has a good spring training . I do hope he earns his contract. When he produces at spring training then yes this contract is a good gamble. I can not complain unless he has a horrible spring and for some ungodly reason Little Theo let him pack his spikes up north.
    Until then ……… Its a bad wasted move but its move we can escape from with no embarrasment.

    1. BadMetaphorCop

      I cannot complain unless . . .
      Until then . . . awww, shit I’ll just keep complaining!

      1. cRAaZYHORSE

        I like the contract. The player he sucks. its a statement not a complaint-