Braves Acquire Zach Stewart

The Braves have acquired right-hander Zach Stewart from the White Sox in exchange for cash considerations, according to the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan (on Twitter).

Stewart spent 2013, his age-26 season, with Chicago's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 4.25 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 167 1/3 innings of work. Originally a third-round pick by the Reds in 2008, the Texas Tech product has found himself included in trades for a number of high-profile players over the past six years. The Reds dealt him to Toronto along with Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Roenicke in 2008 to acquire Scott Rolen. He was then part of the three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson to the Cardinals in 2011, and he was acquired by the White Sox to the Red Sox in June 2012's Kevin Youkilis deal. Chicago picked him back up on waivers last offseason.

Stewart has 103 Major League innings under his belt, but he's posted a 6.82 ERA in that time. He's whiffed just 5.6 hitters per nine innings, but has also averaged just 1.9 walks per nine to go along with a strong 50 percent ground-ball rate in the bigs. Both xFIP and SIERA feel his ERA to date should be just a shade under 4.00 rather than at its current level.

Atlanta's acquisition of Stewart isn't entirely surprising; the team looks to be adding depth with Kris Medlen's health status up in the air (he'll undergo an MRI on his right forearm today) along with the possibility that Mike Minor could miss a start or two in April. Of course, Atlanta has in-house options such as Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia and David Hale that would presumably be in line for big league starts before Stewart, who is most likely ticketed for Triple-A. Stewart was not on Chicago's 40-man roster.

17 Responses to Braves Acquire Zach Stewart Leave a Reply

  1. Paclypse71 1 year ago

    Sounds like bad news on Medlen.

    • erm016 1 year ago

      If it was bad news, we’d have something in the works more impressive than this kid. Insurance only, on this one.

      • Paclypse71 1 year ago

        I would hope so. But rather than trying to replace him with somebody of the same caliber they would probably bump up everybody else and fill the spot at the bottom.

        • erm016 1 year ago

          Well with Minor on the rocks, and possible DL stint, there’s two. So, I gotta think it would be more of a substantial signing if it was serious (that they know yet), so we’ll see.

          • There’s nothing but dumpster pieces available right now besides Santana, who could be off the board at basically any moment. This is a not a good time to make substantial signing.

      • It still could be bad news. Signing Stewart has little impact on that. This a precautionary move that will likely not matter at all.

      • Colin Christopher 1 year ago

        Not necessarily. The pitchers remaining on the market or available for trade aren’t exactly a Who’s Who of Cy Young candidates.

      • Inclined to agree with you. Stewart is not a rotation piece, long reliever or matchup guy at best. If it was a TJ surgery scenario, you’d think they’d go after someone like Ervin Santana or call up Barry Zito and try and get him off his surf board.

      • erg 1 year ago

        starting pitching market is awful right now. i wouldn’t count on them pulling any rabbits out of their hats for the time being.

  2. Jerry Mandering 1 year ago

    Good, the Sox AAA rotation was too crowded anyway. More starts for guys I actually want to see develop.

  3. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Not the best insurance plan if Medlen is injured. Stewart has not had any success above AA.

    • Brian Baker 1 year ago

      AAA depth. Braves are looking like they will begin season with Minor and Medlen on DL, which means Freddy Garcia (minor league deal) is going to make roster along with another AAA guy as the 5th starter.

      1. Teheran
      2. Beachy
      3. Wood
      4. Garcia
      5. David Hale

      Braves also added Gavin Floyd this offseason but he won’t be ready till mid-season.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Garcia always had a March 25th opt-out and 2.25 MM worth of MLB incentives in his contract (1.25 MM for starts and 1 MM for relief appearances). Garcia was never going to be in AAA. Also Stewart has never even had much success at AAA so I fail to see how he provides much depth.

        • erg 1 year ago

          ATL could very well start the season without Medlen, Minor, and Beachy. Their biggest concern right now is just simply getting enough innings from their rotation. That’s all this signing is. Innings.

  4. Matt Talbert 1 year ago

    We need some spots considering all that has happened. Just organization depth/insurance. Also we are in serious talks with Ervin Santana, which really does worry me, not this move…(I like Santana…but just concerned a little with our rotation if Med Dog is out – already probably minus beachy to start?)

  5. Ladarius Wooten 1 year ago

    Not a bad deal at all considering that the Braves are basically getting this guy off the scrap heap for nothing. He was regarded as one of the better prospects in all of baseball, and if any team has a track record of reviving pitcher’s careers it is the Atlanta Braves. Looks like Roger McDowell has yet another young arm to tinker with, and this might signal a grim prognosis regarding Kris Medlen.

    • Steely_D89 1 year ago

      Not sure if you even want to consider him as depth at this point. After seeing his pitches when he was with the Blue Jays, he is seriously nothing special. Everything is quite hittable and his control can vary from okay to terrible at any time.

      On the bright side, could maybe come back to the Jays and develop the knuckler.

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