Ian Stewart’s tenure with the Cubs could be brief.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Stewart will undergo exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist next week in Cleveland and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Stewart has been sidelined since June 12, but his wrist has been an issue for far longer. In fact, it’s believed the discomfort could be related to a compression fracture he suffered in the minors in 2006.
Stewart was acquired from the Rockies last December along with right-hander Casey Weathers for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder D.J. LeMahieu. The 27-year-old third baseman was hitting just .201/.292/.335 with five homers and a .627 OPS in 55 games prior to hitting the disabled list. He’s due a raise in arbitration this winter from $2,237,500 salary, so it’s safe to peg him as an early non-tender candidate.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.