Ian Stewart went and got himself suspended for ten games for telling the world that he thinks the Cubs hate him and that he’d be better off someplace else. Now, Jon Heyman reports, he’s about to be someplace else. Or, at the very least, out of the Cubs organization:
Third baseman Ian Stewart and the Cubs are on the verge of working out an arrangement for Stewart to leave the organization, people familiar with the situation said. This comes two weeks after he expressed frustration with his situation via a couple of revealing tweets.
The resolution allowing him to move to another organization is expected to come within a couple of days.
Considering he’s on a guaranteed $2 million contract I’m not exactly sure what Stewart would agree to other than an outright release. And given that Stewart is batting just .168/.286/.372 in 133 plate appearances this season at the Triple-A level, I’m not sure who else would be all that interested in his services.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.