Ian Stewart Rumors

Minor Moves: Reimold, Wilson, Cedeno, Bianchi, Pagnozzi

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:


Ian Stewart Accepts Outright Assignment

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • Angels infielder Ian Stewart has accepted his assignment to Triple-A rather than electing free agency, the club announced. Stewart was recently designated and then outrighted by the Halos after seeing his first MLB action since 2012.

Minor Moves: Alderson, DeVoss, Stewart, Henderson

Here are some recent minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • Two minor league signings were posted today by the Athletics, as the club landed righty Tim Alderson and outfielder Zeke DeVoss, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Alderson, a 25-year-old former first-rounder and top-100 prospect, has seen his career stall. He has struggled to a 6.12 ERA in 50 relief innings this year for the Orioles’ top affiliate. DeVoss, just 24 years old, was a third-round pick in 2011 but failed to progress this year for the Cubs.
  • The Angels have outrighted infielder Ian Stewart to Triple-A, according to the PCL transactions page. He was designated for assignment two days ago. It is not yet clear whether Stewart has accepted the assignment. (He has the right to choose free agency because he has previously been outrighted.)
  • The Brewers shifted right-hander Jim Henderson from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day, the club announced via Twitter.  Henderson’s 40-man roster spot will be filled by righty Jeremy Jeffress, who contract was selected by the Brewers in a corresponding move.
  • The Giants signed righty Mitchell Boggs, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports.  Boggs had a 9.50 ERA, 18 strikeouts and 17 walks over 36 relief innings for the White Sox Triple-A affiliate this season before being released earlier this month.  A reliable contributor for the Cardinals’ bullpen from 2010-12, Boggs developed major control issues last season, and the Giants are now his fourth organization in a little over a year’s time.
  • The Royals released right-hander Ramon Troncoso, the club announced last week.  Troncoso signed a minor league contract with K.C. in March and produced a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and an even 3.0 K/BB rate over 44 IP with Triple-A Omaha.  Troncoso pitched 30 relief innings for the White Sox in 2013, his first taste of big league action since 2011.
  • The Phillies released utilityman Rusty Ryal, according to Matt Provence, media relations director for Triple-A LeHigh Valley (Twitter link).  Ryal, 31, appeared in 134 games with the Diamondbacks from 2009-10 and hasn’t been back to the majors since, playing in the minors for five different organizations since.  He signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in June.


Angels Designate Ian Stewart For Assignment

The Angels announced that they have designated infielder Ian Stewart for assignment. The move clears space on their 40-man roster for new trade acquisition Huston Street.

Stewart, 29, hit .176/.222/.382 in 72 plate appearances for the Angels. He also collected 84 plate appearances for Triple-A Salt Lake, slashing .208/.310/.361. The Angels signed the former Rockie and Cubs to a minor-league deal in January.


Added To The 40-Man Roster: Saturday

Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:

  • The Angels have purchased the contract of infielder Ian StewartBill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The former top prospect, now 28, was brought in on a minor league contract in January.
  • Ryan Rowland-Smith will make the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster, GM Kevin Towers disclosed (via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). Rowland-Smith was in camp on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 but was excellent last year for Boston's Triple-A club.
  • The Giants announced that right-hander J.C. Gutierrez and infielder Brandon Hicks have been chosen for the Opening Day roster. Hicks had been competing with rookie Ehire Adrianza for a backup infield job, but both have made the team.
  • The Braves announced via press release that pitchers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas have been added to the Opening Day roster.
  • Reds manager Bryan Price announced that reliever Trevor Bell and outfielder Roger Bernadina have made the club's Opening Day roster, according to a tweet from the team's Triple-A affiliate. Bell hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011, but threw very well this spring in 8 2/3 innings.
  • The Mets are set to add Omar Quintanilla to their Opening Day roster, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Quintanilla figures to serve as the back-up at short. He rejoined the club on a minor league deal after being non-tendered.
  • Xavier Nady will break camp with the Padres, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, and thus will be added to the 40-man roster. The 35-year-old had a solid spring, and will fill in while Kyle Blanks and Cameron Maybin work back from injury. 
  • The Tigers have purchased the contract of Tyler Collins, the club announced. The 23-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder has not played above the Double-A level, but now grabs an Opening Day roster spot for a Detroit club that is without Andy Dirks to start the year. In 530 plate appearances at Double-A last year, Collins put up a .240/.323/.438 line with 21 home runs (and 122 strikeouts against 51 walks).
  • The Rangers will add minor league free agent Daniel McCutchen to the roster, according to a tweet from his representatives at Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Texas will need to add the reliever to the 40-man roster in order to activate him.
  • Yangervis Solarte will make the Yankees Opening Day roster, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Fellow utility infielder Eduardo Nunez, meanwhile, will be optioned to Triple-A to start the year. Solarte earned the position after a torrid spring.
  • The Phillies have announced their Opening Day roster, which includes three players — Tony Gwynn Jr., Mario Hollands, and Jeff Manship — who must be added to the 40-man. Meanwhile, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been put on the 60-day DL to create roster space while infielder Reid Brignac and reliever Shawn Camp have been reassigned to Triple-A, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (Twitter links).
  • The Athletics have selected the contract of infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and optioned him to Triple-A, according to the MLB transactions page. After failing to see MLB action in the first year of his two-year, $6.5MM deal with Oakland, Nakajima was outrighted and ultimately re-signed to a minor league deal.

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.


Angels To Sign Ian Stewart

The Angels have signed third baseman Ian Stewart to a minor league deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports (via Twitter).  The deal contains an invitation to the club's Major League Spring Training camp.  Stewart is represented by Reynolds Sports Management.

Stewart was taken by the Rockies as the 10th overall pick of the 2003 draft and was listed as no less than the 57th-best prospect in the sport by Baseball America every season from 2004-08, topping out as #4 before the 2005 season.  While Stewart didn't quite live up to his lofty pedigree, he still put up a decent .246/.334/.454 slash line and 53 homers over 1236 PA with Colorado from 2008 to 2010. 

A wrist injury hurt his production, however, and the injury followed him to Chicago after Stewart was dealt to the Cubs following the 2011 season.  That stint ended badly after Stewart criticized the organization and was subsequently released, leading him to finish out 2013 on a minor league deal with the Dodgers.

Stewart is stll only 28 and could give the Angels some extra pop off the bench if he regains his form.  Grant Green projects as the Halos' top backup infielder with Andrew Romine, Luis Jimenez and the newly-signed John McDonald also in the mix.


Dodgers Sign Ian Stewart

The Dodgers have signed third baseman Ian Stewart, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Since being jettisoned by the Cubs, Stewart was most recently rumored to be in discussions with the Yankees, who USA Today's Bob Nightengale says (Twitter link) were finalists for Stewart along with the Marlins and Rockies. While contract details have not yet been reported, all signs point to the deal being a minor league contract.

Stewart never made it to the bigs this season, as he was outrighted to Chicago's highest minor league affiliate after struggling during an early-season rehab stint. His cumulative line this season (all for Triple-A Iowa) is just .168/.286/.372. In 2012, Stewart managed just a .201/.292/.335 slash for the major league Cubs. 

The 28-year-old Stewart had a less-than-amicable end to his tenure in Chicago after being non-tendered but later re-signed by the Cubs this past offseason. He never regained the power stroke that he showed during his time with the Rockies. To add insult to injury to the Cubs, one of the players the club dealt to Colorado for Stewart — 24-year-old infielder DJ LeMahieu — could be in the midst of establishing himself as a big league regular.


Yankees, Ian Stewart Discussing Minor League Deal

10:50pm: Stewart has received interest from other teams and is weighing his options, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

10:41pm: The Yankees and Ian Stewart are discussing a minor league deal, according to Buster Olney of ESPN (Twitter link). The Cubs released Stewart earlier this week after a controversial outburst from the former first-round pick on Twitter.

Stewart hit just .168/.286/.372 in 133 plate appearances for Triple-A Iowa this season. He's struggled tremendously since a solid 2010 season with the Rockies as a result of a wrist injury that he tried to play through. Stewart ultimately wound up undergoing surgery to correct the issue. From 2008-10, he hit .246/.334/.454 with 53 homers in 349 games for the Rockies.

It's unclear which other teams have talked with Stewart at this time, though Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reported yesterday that the Twins aren't interested.


AL Central Notes: Buxton, Twins, Indians

Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus released his midseason Top 50 Prospects list (subscription required), and the Twins' Byron Buxton ranked No. 1 overall. Buxton was drafted second overall last season and opened the 2013 season at Class A Cedar Rapids where he .341/.431/.559 with eight homers and 32 steals in 68 games. Here's more on the Twins and the rest of the AL Central…

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Cubs Designate Carlos Marmol; Release Ian Stewart

The Cubs finally pulled the plug on longtime reliever Carlos Marmol today, announcing they've designated him for assigment.  The team also announced the suspension of third baseman Ian Stewart was settled and upheld, and he was granted his unconditional release.  The team selected the contract of outfielder Brian Bogusevic to replace Marmol.

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Marmol had become a symbol for the Cubs' struggles this year, with a 5.86 ERA, 6.8 BB/9, and 1.95 HR/9 in 27 2/3 innings.  He began the season as the team's closer, apparently as a way of building trade value, but lost the job after allowing five runs in his first three outings.  Marmol, a converted catcher/outfielder, joined the team's bullpen in 2007, snagged an All-Star nod in '08, and ascended to the Cubs' closing job late in 2009.  He peaked in 2010, striking out nearly 42% of batters faced while racking up 38 saves.  That season earned him a three-year, $20MM extension in February 2011.  Marmol had always had major problems with walks, and now the team will eat the remaining $5MM+ on that ill-advised contract.  During November of last year, it seemed like Marmol was headed to the Angels for Dan Haren before the Cubs pulled the plug and the Halos declined Haren's club option.

Stewart's departure was inevitable after a June 11th Twitter rant criticizing the team for letting him "rot" in Triple-A, where he's authored a .168/.286/.372 line since returning from a quad injury.  The Cubs handed him a ten-game suspension without pay for the comments for violating the loyalty clause in his contract.  The Cubs had non-tendered Stewart in December and re-signed him for $2MM later that month.  Given that he cleared outright waivers in May, teams were not anxious to take on his salary, nor was Stewart willing to abandon the money and elect free agency at that time.  The Cubs ultimately recoup about $110K of Stewart's salary, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bogusevic, 29, was born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, as was this post's author.  The Cubs signed him to a minor league deal in November, and the former first-round pick posted a .319/.418/.512 line with 10 home runs in 304 Triple-A plate appearances this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.