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ian stewart cubsOuch for Stewart, and slightly for the Cubs.

Today the Chicago Cubs announced that they had removed third baseman Ian Stewart from the 40-man roster. To do so, Stewart was waived, went unclaimed, and was outrighted to AAA Iowa, where he was already. That means that no team even wanted Stewart – and his $2 million salary – on its 40-man roster for free. That’s a fairly damning indictment of where he stands with respect to other teams right now (though teams often resist the urge to claim guys like Stewart in these situations so that they, themselves, can call upon the good graces of their fellow MLB organizations when they’ve got an injured/struggling non-prospect/non-youngster they want to send to the minors).

The move, it seems, was not immediately necessary, as the Cubs aren’t hurting for a 40-man roster spot just yet. Then again, it’s always nice to have a little room, and the 40-man now stands at 39. Maybe we’ll learn in the next few days that the Cubs had their eye on a waiver claim.

As for what the move says about Stewart’s future with the Cubs … well … as we’ve been discussing over the last few days, something never seemed quite right. It’s possible the Cubs were admitting that they’d made a mistake in re-signing him, hoped another team would take him off their hands, and, when no team was willing, they’ve decided to let him sit at AAA Iowa until they figure out whether he’s worth the roster spot there. For his part, Stewart accepted the assignment to Iowa so that he could keep his $2 million contract. If the Cubs resort to releasing him, he gets that money either way.

I guess, at this point, you call him depth – he’s spending a lot of time on Iowa’s bench as it is. And when Junior Lake returns to the Iowa roster from his rib injury, the starts will be even tougher to come by.

  • StillCubsFan

    I wander what happened to Stewart? Before the season he wanted to prove everyone how good he is once healthy….and then he becomes a Milton Bradley.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      He was never good to begin with, that’s what happened…

      • Rebuilding

        I try to never ascribe bad motivations to a guy, but Stewart’s spring training “injury” was surely convenient for 2 million bucks. His subsequent behavior makes me wonder

    • On the Farm

      With all due respect

      Basically imagine a turd in sandwich form and that’s what you get with Ian Stewart.

    • arta

      I never believed him!

    • Danimal8

      Syphyllchronic Pussytosis is the clinical diagnosis

  • cubchymyst

    As much as I was for resigning Stewart at this point, it looks like he is going to get released the second Lake comes back. An extra 40 man spot means Waiver Wire Roulette is likely to start again soon. Be nice if a young starter with some upside could be found but that probably won’t happen.

  • Bric

    Brett, it’s interesting you state the understanding that most ML team front offices look at putting a player on waivers as a cautionary/discretionary manner in which to deal with players they’re not quite sure what to do with (a gentleman’s agreement so to speak), and then state the Cubs probably viewed his resigning as a mistake and were hoping somebody would take him of their hands. You can’t have it both ways. Either the FO was hoping to hang on to him for the time being or they were offering his headache to anybody else that wants it. Which do you think it is?

    • On the Farm

      You can have both…

      “What should we do with Ian Stewart”
      “I don’t know why don’t we put him on waivers and see if someone wants him. If they do great, no more headaches, worse case scenario teams let him slide through and we can have some depth if injuries strike hard.”

      Sounds like they could care less what happens with Stewart, but since they are paying him anyway no sense in cutting him until Lake is back.

      • Bric

        Well let’s hope that’s not the case. It’s basically saying “Our contracts are so bad we’ll give away veterans that don’t plan into our 5 year model for free”. And yet no one took the bait. Doesn’t exactly establish a seller’s market for guys like Sori, Garza, Feldman and a bunch of other guys who will soon be on the market.

        • TWC

          You realize there’s a difference between Stewart and those other guys, right, kid?

          All this does is confirm that Stewart is completely worthless. To everyone.

          • Bric

            True. But like a pitcher that probably doesn’t belong starting, the last thing you want to do is throw a lollipop over the pate to start the game out. Maybe the other guys don’t know you’re as desperate and overwhelmed as you really are. Make ‘em figure it out for themselves.

            • TWC

              This is a total non-sequitur, right? Cause I cannot make sense of you, Bricster.

  • willis

    Wow. I like it. And I like he’s sucking bench at Iowa right now.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      I never got why so many people thought he was the future third baseman even after last year’s debacle…

      • DarthHater

        Yea, because the internet was just bursting with the teeming throngs of those who believed that Ian Stewart was the future.

        I never get why so many people think that every opinion they disagree with is automatically supported by “so many people.”

        • TWC

          If you see yourself as an underdog, every victory is magnified.

        • bbmoney

          Yeah I feel like the most support I really heard was….. For 2M it’s worth taking a flier on the guy for one more year.

          To be fair, that was my thought. Looks like I was wrong.

  • Rcleven

    As we comment on this Stewart sits on the Iowa bench rotting like a tomato on the grocery store shelf.

    • On the Farm

      Hope he likes watching corn grow because that’s about all he will get to do in Iowa.

      • hansman1982

        Hey…there are other things to do in Iowa than just watch corn grown.

        Soybeans growing, pigs growing, cows growing, windmills turning, a bajillion different themed races…

        This summer is shaping up to be EXCITING!

        • On the Farm

          Sorry I forgot Iowa is a top 3 wind energy producing state.

        • Tommy

          People go to Iowa to watch Joe eat hamburgers.

        • jt

          did you ever try to count to 2,000,000?

    • Jim

      I think Stewart got exactly what he was hoping for. If you could get $100,000 at your job for doing the work, or for just sitting around eating cheetohs, which would you prefer?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        If I had another $100,000 riding on it the next year and I knew that kind of job was not going to be available to me after about five, six more years? I’d probably bust my ass.

        • Chris Frankum

          You can live the rest of your life off the interest on $2M. Not on $100,000.

          • Pat

            No, you can’t. First off, after taxes it will be much closer to 1 million. Second, interest rates are exceedingly low right now, you’d be lucky to get over 1%. 11 grand a year isn’t going to cut it.

            • Chris Frankum

              You’re investing wrong if you’re only getting 1% interest. I’m getting 15-20 in a bad market. I feel sorry for you.

              • The World

                Nobody gives a shit about your investment returns. Go masturbate somewhere else.

                • Chris Frankum

                  Classy

                  • The World

                    …says the guy who talks about his investment returns and says “I feel sorry for you” to a complete stranger on a baseball site. Take that shit someplace else.

              • hansman1982

                Oh ya, well, I’m getting 30+ so…I’m the bigger man.,..

                PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT.

      • Tommy

        Jim – I’d play baseball for free, bro.

  • Die hard

    This will rank as one of Managements better moves… Maybe Cubs need to look for a left handed hitting 3B in Draft instead of pitcher

    • ari gold

      Drafting for need is a great way to get fired.

      • Die hard

        Thought there was a decent 3B in draft

        • hansman1982

          There’s a decent 3B in the draft if you are picking 3 on down.

  • Die hard

    He could have a catch every day at Field of Dreams

    • On the Farm

      You are giving him too much credit I think

  • Farmetancolin

    Hey we also have soybeans and floods/droughts.

  • Farmetancolin

    This is pretty similar when DeWitt went down to IA.

    Couple factors though, Valbuena not being terrible at third let the FO do this. Obviously Stewart’s play hasn’t been good either. I didn’t mind the re signing of him and ya still Never know about the future but he looks close to done. Only thing worse that could happen is if we do release him and he just rakes for another team.

    • Tommy

      I don’t think we need to worry about Stewart raking for someone else. He’s too busy tweeting til 3am every morning.

      • DarthHater

        I wouldn’t let him rake my lawn.

        • Tommy

          Darth, he could only rake your lawn 1/10th of the time. The rest of the time, he’d miss.

          • DarthHater

            If he goes to bed at a decent hour, I’ll let him rake the kitty litter box in the morning.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Well, I’m not upset about it. Mainly after the recent actions of him. I was a big supporter of him, but heck, he proved that he didn’t want to prove anything.

  • DarthHater

    Does he get another 3-day vacation to report after being outrighted to Iowa? :-D

    • @cubsfantroy

      I was thinking that. I thought it was pretty funny and surprised no one else brought it up yet.

  • cb

    I didn’t really like him, but there didn’t seem to be any good alternatives at 3B. Can Logan Watkins play if Valbuena/Ransom fail?

  • hansman1982

    God, before the season I was pulling for him to become something close to his 2009-2010 self.

    Now that Valbuena is doing well and he has negative trade value…

    I hope he never gets another big league at bat.

  • Patrick W.

    I can’t think of a clearer indication that the Front Office knows they made a mistake resigning Ian Stewart. I also think it sends a clear message to Stewart: “You think you have other options? We’ll show you your options.” In one quick movement they told him “Nobody thinks your contract is a good one, and that includes us.” If you think he was all upset at what the Rockies did, imagine how he feels being off a 40 man roster for the first time in several seasons? I for one hope it motivates him. I think there is physical talent there and I hope, maybe, a wake up call like this will work for him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Seems like a plausible message to send after that whole 72 hours thing.

  • Rich H

    As much maligned as Stewart is this is his own doing. He has done nothing to show anything to the this management team. All he has done where ever he has been in the organization is rub people the wrong way. I wish him all the best because I think at one time he was extremely talented. But at this point when Lake gets back I think it is best just to cut bait with him and be done with it. Keeping him on the bench all year in Iowa would not prove anything other than this FO holds a grudge.

  • Chris Frankum

    I am actually very upset about this. I watched every Cubs game last year and Stewart was very unlucky. He would go 0-5 at the plate with 4 screaming line drives right at people. He is a big strong guy with a good glove. I’m very bummed out to see him go down this route.

    Like the poster above, I hope this really knocks some motivation into him.

  • Timmy

    The guy is an ingrate. I hope people boo him and his $2m in the streets from now on.

  • Timmy

    Rumor has it Theo will give him a 14 million severance and then sign him to replace Rizzo at first.

  • Dustin S

    Stewart was a longshot gamble when they got him, so him panning or not panning out is one piece of it. But really the the larger question is why the FO chose to resign him 6 weeks ago. Sveum all but said he didn’t want him.

    So did the FO misread Stewart’s character that badly, or was he just convincing about blaming his problems on his wrist and claiming that he’d be ok soon? I’m actually hoping it is the latter.

  • ChicagoMike702

    Ouch? I would’ve been SHOCKED if someone was willing to take on his salary.

  • http://bleachernation lou brock

    His 40 man roster spot should go to AA LHP Rosscup obtained with garza from Tampa Bay. He has been lights out in Tn. this year with the Smokies & the Cubs could use another lefty in the pen. Send Loe out with Camp to waivers & there is room for him & Fujikawa.

  • baldtaxguy

    Or maybe 3B was viewed as the weak spot and there were very limited (none) options available in FA and on the farm.

  • Willrust

    Have a feeling this will be leading to the Cubs pickup of Jordan Norberto.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Since he was released, as opposed to waived, the Cubs – or any other team – could simply sign him to a minor league deal. No need for a 40-man spot.

    • DarthHater

      Hmmm… Out-of-the-blue transaction speculation based on a lack of fundamental factual info. Diehard, is that you? ;-)

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Jorge Soler another jack and 3 hits today. OPS up over .900 now. Baez seems to be going the other way, three more K’s today.

  • DarthHater

    “No one wanted Stewart and his $2 million contract for free.”

    Pssst, hey, buddy. I’ve got this $2 million debt, see? But because I like you, I’m gonna give it to you absolutely free! Now, how can you pass up a deal like that?

  • Barroof

    How bad are the Cubs ? Well a whole bunch of people justed wasted their time talking about Ian F#cking Stewart. This organization better pick up the pace. By September 1st they’ll be 10,000 fans a game at Wrigley. The renovation that needs to be done wears uniforms. If they don’t make some serious moves this off season then the FO just doesn’t give a shit about the fans. Just keep telling us about prospects guys. I’ve never seen a World Series trophy handed to the team with the most prospects have you. Oh and assets are just asses with a “t”.

    • Reality Check

      great post!
      so far Ricketts ownership gets an “F” in my book.

      • TWC

        Oh boy. You’re back.

  • Hack Wilson

    Is Stewart entitled to another 72 hours since he was waived? Not that it matters much since he is not productive at all even when playing. I too thought the FO made a solid move in bringing back Stewart. Thanks, Ian, for letting so many of of down, not by the quality of your play, but by your lack of respect for the fans, the game, and displaying such a low quality of character.

  • svazcub

    They may have put Stewart through waivers as a favor to him/at his request, if he wanted to see if there was another team out there who would give him a chance. Based on the multitude of odd/immature Stewart quotes, he seems to think that the FO promised him more of a shot than he has been given. This is probably their way of convincing him that he has put himself in this situation and that no one else wants to give him a MLB job, either.

    Evidently, Stewart has had a hard time making the mental adjustment from being a hyped phenom and future star to a guy who needs to prove himself every step of the way. As a young guy, he was the next great thing and when struggles hit, he didn’t have enough perspective to know that, in baseball, there’s always another next great thing coming up behind you–plus dozens of hungry “quadruple A” guys looking to put food on the table for their families. You just can’t stink up the joint for three years running and expect an organization that wants to be competitive to keep your seat warm for you.

  • Carmelo

    If Stewart was put on waivers and had to wait to see if he was claimed or not, how could he have played for Iowa during that time? He didn’t belong to anyone—is that why he hasn’t played?

    • Kyle

      You aren’t removed from the roster just because you are put on waivers.

  • CubsFaninMS

    lol Welcome home Ian StewAAArt.

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