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.

Roberto Osuna to be the Astros new closer

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When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.

This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.

Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.