Rockies trade Stewart, Weathers to Cubs for Colvin, LeMahieu

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According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have traded third baseman Ian Stewart and right-hander Casey Weathers to the Cubs for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder DJ LeMahieu.

It’s probably not the big splash that Cubs fans had been hoping for out of the new Theo Epstein-led regime, but it’s a nice low-risk swap capable of paying dividends if things bounce right.

Stewart posted a miserable .156/.243/.221 batting line with zero home runs and six RBI in 136 plate appearances this past year for Colorado. But the 26-year-old has a .913 career OPS at the Triple-A level and mashed 25 home runs as a major leaguer in 2009.

Stewart also has good hands and decent range at the hot corner.

Weathers is basically a throw-in. The former first-round pick had a 5.32 ERA and 48/48 K/BB ratio in 45 2/3 innings this year at Double-A. Already 26 years old, he appears unlikely to ever realize his full potential.

As for Colorado’s haul: Colvin slugged 20 home runs alongside an .816 OPS in 2010 as a rookie before taking a large step back in his sophomore campaign. The Rockies will hope that the thin air at Coors Field can rejuvenate his power numbers. LeMahieu made his big league debut in 2011 at the age of 23 and boasts a .317 career minor-league batting average. He could see some playing time at second base in 2012.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.