Shannon Stewart Rumors

Week In Review: 8/10 – 8/16

Taking a look back at this week’s happenings here on MLBTR…

Odds and Ends: Lowell, Carroll, Saltalamacchia

Time to gather up today’s links.

Odds and Ends: Ibanez, Dunn, Blake, Stewart

Let’s kick off the morning with some random links.

Blue Jays Release Shannon Stewart

According to the Globe and Mail, the Blue Jays released outfielder Shannon Stewart today.  He’d signed a minor league deal in February.

Stewart, 34, hit .240/.325/.303 in 200 plate appearances.  He dealt with a sore groin and ankle sprain during the season.  Stewart was paid $1.5MM.  Adam Lind had an excellent July and seems entrenched in left at least for the rest of the year.

Jays Release Reed Johnson

SUNDAY: According to the Toronto Star, the Jays have released Reed Johnson.  The Jays have to pay $546K of his $3.275MM salary.  Not a huge deal, but non-tendering him several months ago would’ve been better.  Joel Sherman describes the Mets’ interest in Johnson as "mild at best."

SATURDAY: The Globe and Mail’s Jeff Blair refers to "scuttlebutt among scouts" about the Jays placing outfielder Reed Johnson on waivers.  However, J.P. Ricciardi said this was not true.  The Toronto GM said a choice is close regarding Johnson and Shannon Stewart, and both won’t make the team.  The Mets might be a match for Johnson.

I’m surprised by the way the Jays have gone about things in left field this year.  They brought back Matt Stairs, who can pretty much only play left since Frank Thomas and Lyle Overbay own the DH and first base spots.  They’ve got a seemingly Major League ready (and cheap) outfielder in Adam Lind.  They decided to tender a contract to Johnson, something I did not expect.  And then they signed Shannon Stewart on top of it all.  What are the Jays going to do with all these guys? 

Mets Inquire On Reed Johnson, Shannon Stewart

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets have checked in on Blue Jays outfielders Shannon Stewart and Reed Johnson.  Nicely done, Drunk Jays Fans.  Although you spelled "rumor" incorrectly.

Sherman says Stewart is a long shot since he can’t handle right.  The Mets want someone who can handle both corners, and Johnson could be that someone (he’s played 64 games in right in ’06 and 13 in ’07).  The 31 year-old will earn $3.275MM this year.  He could be useful if last year’s back problems are behind him.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Lohse, Furcal, Lofton

FOX’s Ken Rosenthal checks in with the latest buzz from Spring Training.

  • The Mets, Cardinals, and Orioles are listed as possibilities for Kyle Lohse.  However, the Mets may deem him unnecessary, reports are conflicting on the Cards’ interest, and the Orioles are wary of the price.
  • Rosenthal says Rafael Furcal‘s agent met with Ned Colletti a few days ago, but the Dodgers would likely want to see Furcal return to form before entertaining an extension.  Click here to see the other shortstops eligible for free agency after the ’08 season.  The Dodgers may have a viable replacement for Furcal in defensive whiz Chin-Lung Hu.
  • Rosenthal notes that the Yankees, in search of a right-handed outfielder, considered Shannon Stewart and Mike Cameron this winter.
  • Kenny Lofton‘s chances of a getting the big league deal he wants with the Reds or Twins look slim. 
  • The rumor going around for Corey Patterson is the Marlins, if the price is right.
  • Rosenthal confirms two additions for our 2008 Out Of Options list Gabe Gross and Clint Barmes.
  • Rosenthal says the Mets need a right-handed hitter who can play left field and first base.  Here are some names I came up with: Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Nady, Matt Murton, Franklin Gutierrez, and Kevin Millar.  Granted, not all those guys know their way around first base.

Shannon Stewart Signs With Blue Jays

TODAY: Fun fact/correction, courtesy of Susan Slusser.  Turns out the A’s will not be receiving a compensation pick for Stewart, since he signed a minor league deal.  It also seems a long shot that they get one for Mike Piazza, as he could retire, settle for a minor league deal, or head to Japan.

2-24-08: According to Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, Shannon Stewart has signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays. It seems that Stewart’s agent switch helped facilitate the contract, as the Jays made an offer earlier in the winter.  My guess is that this is around a million bucks, and you really can’t complain about that.  Stewart is a fine defender in left and a solid fourth outfielder.  Stewart was originally drafted by the Jays 19th overall in ’92.  That draft also had Derek Jeter, Jason Kendall, and Johnny Damon in the first round.

By the way, the A’s are set to receive the 39th or 46th overall pick as compensation for Stewart, depending on what Mike Piazza does.

Meanwhile, Adam Lind joins the class of expendable young outfielders with MLB experience.  Lind, 24, didn’t hit much last year but projects at .267/.324/.443 according to PECOTA.  That’s a notch below other available guys like Matt Murton and Gabe Gross.

Odds and Ends: Crisp, Stewart, Meyer

Let’s round ’em up!

Padres Rumors: Stewart, Barrett’s Corey Brock quotes Kevin Towers as saying a free agent signing is unlikely, which implies that Shannon Stewart is not on the radar.  Towers still may add an outfielder via trade. 

The idea of the Padres and Mariners being interested in Stewart was misconstrued a bit.  Jerry Crasnick said Towers "might be tempted to look at a free agent" and that the Mariners "seem like a potential fit." My summary of his article said the Mariners and Padres were possibilities.  I should’ve been more clear that Crasnick was speculating on those two clubs rather than reporting specific interest – sorry about that.  As for Stewart, only the Blue Jays have made an offer.  He came up in the Toronto organization and had some nice seasons for them.

Back to the Padres.  Brock adds that Michael Barrett is not likely to be traded – Towers likes having two starting-caliber catchers on the roster.  Not an ideal situation for Barrett, but it was his choice to accept the Padres’ offer of arbitration.