Cubs “have interest” in Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart

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Last week Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd ruled out non-tendering Ian Stewart before the deadline to offer arbitration, but he didn’t rule out trading him and now Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Cubs have expressed interest in the 26-year-old third baseman.

Renck writes that the Rockies turned down an offer for Stewart from the Diamondbacks in July and remain reluctant to move him because they feel he still has lots of upside, but he’s also set to earn around $2.5 million after spending much of the season at Triple-A and they have other third base options coming up through the minors.

Stewart has 20-homer power, but he’s a career .236 hitter with a mediocre .751 OPS despite playing half his games at Coors Field and has never been a standout defensive third baseman. It seems highly unlikely that Theo Epstein and company would part with significant value to acquire Stewart, so the only question is whether the Rockies are ready to part with him when his stock is at an all-time low.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: