As first reported by Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register, the Cubs officially reinstated third baseman Ian Stewart on Saturday evening at Triple-A Iowa following his 10-game team-issued suspension.
Stewart was charged with violating the loyalty clause in his contract earlier this month when he tweeted disparagingly about the Cubs organization and his standing in it. “The Cubs are done with me,” is what the 28-year-old wrote specifically. “There [sic] going to let me rott [sic] in AAA all season and then non tender me after. … I think (manager Dale Sveum) doesn’t like me and he’s running the show.”
Stewart is batting just .168/.286/.372 in 133 plate appearances this season at the Triple-A level.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.